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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Goodbye

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, Veggiemacabre.tv 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.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe…

Do you have completely irrational fears? Not like a fear of being trampled to death at a Miley Cyrus concert or a fear of the moon falling into the Earth, because while those are odd fears and highly unlikely to happen, they are plausible. I am talking about fears that defy logic and reality. I am about to share one of mine with you and it all started on a summer day in the year 1985 when my Uncle Nat introduced me to the movie, Jaws.

I can’t think of a single movie that had that much of an effect on me. Going to the beach every summer always had a shadow of a shark looming in my head and I was content to just make sand castles for my micro-machines, drink Ecto Cooler Hi-C and get grit in my mouth from eating Doritos with sandy fingers. But when I was told to go rinse off, that music, oh that music started in my mind and I was ever so quick to get in and get out while other kids played in the surf. No surf fun for me. I saw what happened to Alex Kintner. 

Since that fateful day in 1985 I have had this lurking unease that a giant great white shark could appear at most any body of water to include lakes, ponds, SWIMMING POOLS, jacuzzis, baths, really hard rains, full sinks and toilets. I even had a dream that there was a free-floating shark roaming around my house and I had to hide in the fridge to escape being eaten. Then Rue McClanahan showed up and things got weird but that’s for another post. I need to stay focused.

Even today as a rational, working and (maybe) intelligent adult, I still get an unease that somewhere there is a swimming devil that wouldn’t mind chewing me up. This plagues my soul and got me thinking. Have you ever read the Stephen King book, Mist? I might be mistaken but essentially the military accidentally opens up a…something, and all these horrid creatures come out and kill people in the worst ways imaginable. What if (stay with me here) a parallel universe crossed with ours and air-breathing great white sharks that can fly showed up and could hide and attack when least expected! I seriously have thought about this. And I think it would look very much like this:

 

 

How to Make “Hate Pizza”

I can’t really put my finger on when I started to be a fan of spicy food but as far as I can remember, it started in my early adult years. Actually, the more I think about it, my contempt for bland food began in the Army which led me to dowse everything with Tabasco. Since then I have ventured far up the Scoville unit scale , turning Tabasco from what used to be a heated nasal enema to mere sprinkles on a sunday.  My stomach can probably break down a twelve gauge shotgun shell with little more than a hiccup and taps to the chest.  But with this found glory of dastardly concoctions comes a lonely road where no one wants to eat everything I cook for fear of  reenacting a Bean-O commercial. I get it. Then there is Halloween with parties and I see a chance to disguise my love as a gimmicky party-food novelty. Oh I have sights for them to see. Let me teach you how to make the Devil’s pizza or how it has come to be known: Hate Pizza.

Okay. First off you need pre-made pizza crust (preferably thin) and coat it in extra virgin olive oil. I, myself, am very particular about the kind of EVOO but in reality it doesn’t matter for this particular pizza. Also, I didn’t make my own crust because when people are eating this they aren’t going to comment about how amazing the crust is but rather wonder if hitting their mouths with a hammer would reduce the burn.

You will also notice those attractive orange peppers known as habaneros. Yes, they are powerful and each one can ruin a night depending on your palate. I add eight of these lovelies and before we mince, I take off the stems because…people eat will eat this you know.

I load up all eight into the ol’ SlapChop and pound the bajeebus out of them until they are finely minced. Also, I add six garlic…things. You know, the whole pieces off the clove? You know what I mean.

That looks pretty inviting, don’t you think? Actually, right after I took this picture the mixture of the over ripe garlic and habaneros combined to almost knock me over. My eyes and nasal passages took a time out and I had to go outside and blindly pace the yard, hoping insult to injury wouldn’t result in dog poop on the shoes.

The sauce. Any good chef knows the magic of a good pie rests in the sauce. I prefer Don Pepino to Ragu sauce. Actually I prefer motor oil to Ragu but that is letting my snippy side out. You will notice that only about 1/4 of the can is used. “But Will”, you ask, “how will only 1/4 of a can of pizza sauce be enough to cover the whole pizza crust?” Good question!

Because I am adding a whole blammin’ jar of super hot Sriracha Hoy Fu Kong sauce! And it is amazing! If you have never been to a Vietnamese restaurant and had Pho or any other dish you are missing out. This is where I fell in love with Sriracha and have been looking for a good cross-dish. And sista’, I have found my medium.

While applying the sauce to the pre-made crust I thought making a devil face would be appropriate. All it ended up looking like was a frog. But it’s an EVIL frog!

We are almost there. At this point the oven is preheating to 475. A whole medium size bag of shredded mozzarella is evenly spread over the pie and the habaneros and garlic follow.  But we aren’t quite done yet.

It’s said Lucifer comes as an attractive and friendly character. Slicing one jalapeno, make a smiley face. It’s as if it is saying, “It’s okay. If you don’t like hot foods, you can take off my eyes. Everything will be alright.”

Let’s bake this bitch! The oven is all preheated and I turn the temp from 475 to 425. The average bake time is between 10 to 13 minutes. Maybe different if you are baking this on Mt. Everest. While this bakes, decontaminate everything! The seeds from one habanero can cause the dog to create a family historical event like “The 2011 Ass-plosion Dog/Couch Event”. You need to wash your hands and scrub under the fingernails. Being a spicy food fanatic, there has been many forgetful pee breaks resulting in…milk. I’ll leave it at that.

Those few minutes pass fast and before you know it the house is filled with the aroma of pain. This looks pretty inviting, don’t you think? It’s funny to think this is a vegetarian friendly pie. In my mind, vegetarians always seem so sweet.  This must be angry lefty anarchist type of veggie friendly food.

Well, I wouldn’t recommend this for a just any occasion. It’s Halloween and parties need to have one or two novelty food items. This is fun for bets or to show off who can brave a bite of the hottest pizza around. Or, if you have no soul, this Hate Pizza an be used for revenge. Because revenge doesn’t always have to be a dish best served cold.

Happy Halloween.

EDIT!

Apparently people didn’t hate the “Hate Pizza”. A bunch of crazy assholes, says me!

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