Summer Evening Storms: Ain’t What They Used To Be

Middle school is a tough time for many kids, especially boys. I say boys because the transition from elementary to middle requires something that we, as a male species hate, and that is results. It’s true, little boys go kicking and screaming when it comes to the period of growing up. I know I did.

The summer of 1991 was a pretty huge change for me. I left the comforts of a cush’ fifth grade life to that of an accelerated sixth grader who, in reality, probably shouldn’t have been. A standard sixth grader would have been just fine. And as if that wasn’t hard enough, my family got transferred to Phoenix, Arizona smack in the middle of the school year. It was a royal suck.

Being the new kid, I didn’t really have any friends besides this kid named Reed, who was the most popular kid in school and lived down the street from me. During school he would pretend not know me but after he would always show up at my house ready to talk me into some sort of mischief. And when I say mischief, I mean stuff that would end up on Fox News today because, lets face it, we live in a shaming society. Let me list a few activities for you because we were complete little assholes.

  • Throw oranges from the citrus trees over the highway barrier into traffic.
  • Get into ROCK WARS in the desert with other kids
  • Snipe small animals with BB guns
  • Roll smoke bombs into garages of those who kept them cracked open for their cats
  • T.P. teacher’s houses
  • Hit golfers with water balloons launched from a water balloon launcher
  • And much more

So, when peer pressure got old I would retreat to the house and build monster models while watching movies that I knew would haunt me as soon as dusk came. I believe that is sort of the way I have always run my life. Sure it feels good now but damn if I won’t pay for it later.


My love of the macabre would rear its head especially during the Arizona evening storms that would light the sky and rumble the foundations of the house. The heat of the day with a mix of northern cool air would produce some of the most fantastic electrical storms I have ever seen and while most kids probably thought nothing of it, I was buried under my blankets, counting the distance of the storm by the Poltergeist method of seconds between lightning and thunder. And we all know what happens when the storm got closer.

I remember riding my bike home for dinner and staring off into the distance over the mountains and seeing the ominous clouds build in the distance like billowing army, marching closer and closer as the afternoon-evening transformed to night. The wind chimes would clang as the wind slowly increased force until it sounded like a spectral howl, wailing with creepy peaks and valleys. As the sun set, an orange hue set upon the whole house and the distraction of dinner in front of the TV was welcome but in the back of my head, night was coming and soon the storm would be here.

zzz the storm is coming Poltergeist 11099456_gal

My Mom hated these electrical storms and would demand the TV be unplugged at the first rumble of thunder for fear of a power surge. It supposedly happened to my parents back when I was an infant and ever since then, no matter what size surge protector we had, the TV was going off. That meant off to bed to dwell in my thoughts.

You see, I didn’t have any brothers or sisters growing up and with my Dad always gone on trips, it was just me and Ma at the house. With a Mom who was as nervous as a dog on the 4th of July, I was pretty much left to my own overactive imagination. And as a horror goon, that was pretty grim. Constantly I would see images of Regan’s horrid face from the movie The Exorcist as she would peer from the window when the lightning lit the sky. Why oh why did I watch that from the hallway when Dad had it on HBO earlier in the year? (That’s a rhetorical question because back then, that’s how every sixth grader saw The Exorcist.)

These nights were pretty tough because every ghoul and spook seemed to creep into my thoughts and cause me to hear and see things that just weren’t there. Even passages of books read for fun at the pool would come to haunt me these evenings. “We dare not look out the back window of the house for that’s where the dead wander and rap upon our door.”- Bell Witch

I really hated myself during those few agonizing nights but as soon as the sun came up, I would completely forget the terrors which plagued me just hours before. Nope, it was a new day with no cares in the world. That is until four o’clock came again.

Today, I am still the twisted little kid who loves to get spooked by movies and stories but I have come to love these evening summer storms. Like Eddie Rabbit says, it washes my cares away and even relaxes me into repose. My dog, however, doesn’t agree but I can be the comfort to whatever he is thinking. I am sure it’s not the Tar Man coming out of the closet but who knows? He watches all these silly movies with me now and I don’t know what damage that has done.


I hope you get these summer storms and if so have grown to appreciate them as much as I have. Just remember, the little things in life are what makes everything worth it.

FYI, big stuff coming and as a hint, REVIEW THE WORLD is visiting again! Badda Bing! The What The Hell Show begins!

Beers with Movie Sauce: Jaws 2

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.27.36 PM

I promise I’m not going to say “just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water”.

Well, shit.

Okay, so it really was not safe to go back in the water back in 1978 because Universal Studios cashed in on the cash cow that was Jaws; the original summer blockbuster. As sequels usually go, they can’t hold a candle to the original but with Jaws 2, I would say they made a damn good attempt. Sure, it a silly premiss that a monster shark came to seek vengeance on a small beach community  only a few years after the first monster shark had its head blown off but hey, life is weird like that. Just ask New Jersey.


So yeah, I am yapping about Jaws 2 but more importantly I want to climb the rafters with a bullhorn and call to prayer that the fine people of Narragansett beer have released a retro-throwback LIMITED EDITION lager that was featured in the first Jaws film. The can is in its original colors from 1975 and was actually crushed by Robert Shaw who played Captain Quint. I have drunk many cans of bud lights in the Army and college just for the purpose of reenacting that famous scene between him and Richard Dreyfus.


Also, I wanted to take this quick minute to brag about the time I met Jeffery Kramer who played Deputy Hendrix, Martin Brody’s second in command. Such a nice guy and had a blast asking him all the lame-o questions a geek like me could ask. He signed a shirt (claiming that to be his first) but he also signed a couple of autographs to include a very special one. The autopsy scene in Halloween 2 but accidentally signed is “Deputy Hendrix”, his Jaws character.


Doh! I doubt it increases the value in real life but for the dumb collection in my office, it’s priceless.

So, please watch and sorry in advance about the crazy noises I make after eating this insanely hot, shark themed, hot sauce. It is a doozy. Honest, it will light your face.


It’s A Cheap Cat Christmas Countdown!

It took me a whole day to post this horrible video on Youtube and between that and WordPress failing me again with their awful Videopress that I paid mucho dinero for, it’s truly a Christmas miracle that I didn’t set fire to a Walgreens.

I told myself the day that my videos would be about cat ornaments it was time to take up fire-hangliding. Well, that day has arrived because for $1.79, there was no way “FUBAR” the cat was not coming home with me. In addition to a random cat ornament I also received quite a lot of trivia about the cat species on the back of his box. Go ahead and ask me how many teeth a cat has. Go ahead!

So, here is the video and I love how through the whole thing I failed to notice the top of my head is cut off. Whatever, my videos are always a bit dumb. Okay, very dumb.


Well, I guess this was coming. I mean, I post about as regular as Jamie Lee Curtis. (Activia joke) I need to get a different forum and narrow the topic to a specific direction. While Veggiemacabre has been great, I am a different person than 2007. Maybe better or maybe worse but not the same. I loved this place and the people I have met through it.

I know Matt ended X-E and started DinosaurDracula. This is sort of the same thing but going forward you will see more of a media side since I have invested so much into software. I have a vision and as soon as the know-how happens you’ll see. Thank you for a wonderful five years. Watch below to get the skinny.

By the way, will still be here. Just leaving this blog.

Good Journey!

Surprise Wolf Shirt. We Had A Good Run.

They say bad things happen in threes and I am really counting on that to be a truism. In one day I had to replace the entire rear brake system in the car, destroyed my iPhone and the epic shirt that has come to be known as the “surprise-wolf” shirt is stained beyond wear because I do laundry about as well as this guy can lull a baby to sleep with a lullaby. The brakes and phone are just a fact of life but I can’t get over the loss of this shirt. For five dollars at a Value Village it has brought me fame and fortune. Well, maybe not that but it has complimented my version of style. Let’s take a trip back to 2008.

I had just recently moved to the great white northwest and trying to blend in I figured that corporate attire might not translate so I figured what better way to show the natives that I too was down with style of the time. So I bought a wolf-scape shirt and was eager to grow a beard to complete the transition from suit to mountain man. (minus the Cubs hat)

The joke was kind of on me though because most people in rural North Idaho freaking hate wolves. I mean they will shoot them and leave them on the side of the road. Apparently these majestic (once endangered) creatures like to rove in packs and destroy all in sight. And they just do it for fun too. It’s not uncommon to see a bumper sticker stating their approval of the “kill all wolves bill” that was actually voted on in the state congress.

So it is completely my modus operandi to rock this shirt to a bar where 9 out of 10 people believe that by wearing this wolf shirt I am not only a bleeding heart liberal but also with the Taliban. I felt like I showed up to a breast cancer awareness rally sporting a shirt that says “I’m more of a butt and leg guy”. So the shirt only had a few wears until I moved down from the mountain and to a more progressive city where it was looked at as more of a hipster shirt than my real intension of wanting to be…tough?

There was a particular party that a little hidden gem was found in this infamous shirt. While mingling with the masses as I proudly sported my wolf shirt a girl stopped  and paid a compliment to my “beautiful four wolves on the tummy”. Four wolves?? From what I had known there where just three but before I jumped to conclusions and poured my beer on her head for confusing math with feet I went to the restroom to take a closer look. And I found a…

FUCKIN’ SURPRISE WOLF…IN A TREE!!! This blew my mind. There were so many thoughts running through my mind like why did I never notice this before? How many people have I met while wearing this and told them how proud I was of my three wolves (Alex, Joan and Dale)only to look like quite the fool to leave out the surprize wolf that has since been named Paul? Why did the artist put this wolf up in a tree? Does he/she just like to draw wolf heads? So many questions.

Well, I came out of the bathroom enlightened and proceeded to show off the surprise wolf to anyone who would listen. It may have been similar to a two-year old carrying around his potty to a dinner party gathering showing what he did. Regardless, that night changed the scope of that shirt and I walked a little taller knowing I had a shirt with a wolf in a tree. Or standing behind a tree trunk. No matter.

Today I look at the stained shirt and after writing this odd obituary I am not yet ready to let it go. No, I think there is a time and a place where I can get away with this shirt that has survived my time in Idaho and reminds me all the time of the most beautiful people who are still in my life. Strange how such silly things bring back the best memories. So when I wear this and people comment on its less-than-white appearance I will ask them who the press secretary is. FACE!

But I will admit there was a grown man who cried in his shirt when he thought he ruined it.


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