Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back to the Great White North!

So after enjoying a nice, relaxing Christmas with Alison's family on the 25th and taking a few days to recover (which meant enjoying a bottle of Dogfishead 120 IPA and eating a lot of bacon while watching Pineapple Express and Superbad on Blu-ray), tomorrow I head back to Canada to catch up with some friends and family who I didn't get to see a few weeks back. These are the benefits of your office closing down between Christmas and New Years, you can do these things. Jet Blue had a decent price so I'll be flying out of JFK tomorrow afternoon and coming back on 12/31 to spend New Years Eve with my gal, which is as it should be.

If you're looking for something to do over the Holidays, why not watch Battle Wizard? It's seasonal fun for the whole fighting monkey loving family!

Anyone reading this from NYC, hit Kim's on St. Mark's before they close the store at the end of the month. There are deals to be had if you don't mind looking around a bit and while a lot of the good stuff is gone already, it's not so picked over that it isn't worth checking out. Between the soon to be closed location and the new one at 1st Ave. and 8th St. I dropped a good chunk of change but I found a bunch of out of print Something Weird Video titles (hooray for Chesty Morgan and Mexican wrestlers!) and Anchor Bay Hammer Horror titles for less than $10 a pop. Money well spent.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An Early Canadian Christmas Trip

So last week Alison and I braved the snowstorm that beat the living snot out of the Northeast part of this country called America to travel across the border to visit my family. We drove as far as we could in the nasty weather on Thursday night and grabbed a hotel room in the small town of Johnston, NY, not too far north of Albany. At 6am the alarm went off and it was time to hit the road again and we drove straight through to make an appointment I'd scheduled at 11am on Friday.

With that out of the way, we finished a quick bit of Christmas shopping before heading to my mother's place and then moving on to my dad's, Swiss Chalet for dinner, and then my grandparents' apartment. Friday was busy, but it was great to see everyone on that side of the family again.

Saturday morning we went for breakfast with mom and my stepdad and then drove up to Toronto to see my mother's side of the family after checking out my Grandmother's swanky new digs in Niagara Falls. We all crammed into my uncle and aunt's house and enjoyed a nice dinner. Once that was over, Alison and I went to Young and Dundas downtown. I hadn't been there in over eight years and was amazed at how much like Times Square it has become. We drove down Queen West only to find that almost everything had closed at 8pm before heading up Bathhurst and parking near Honest Ed's. We peeked inside Suspect Video, I was relieved to see it was still there as it played a huge part in my movie watching habits while I lived in Toronto, and then spent a good hour combing the CD bins at Sonic Boom before hitting the hotel in Yorkville. We ordered some BBQ from a place that delivered, watched TV, and crashed.

During all of this, I accumulated some pretty rad Canadian content in the form of:

The Hilarious House Of Frightenstein DVD Collection Vol. 2
The Hanson Brothers - Sudden Death CD
Stompin' Tom - The Ballad Of Stompin' Tom CD
Stompin' Tom - Bud The Spud CD
Stompin' Tom - Kic' Along With Stompin' Tom CD
The Gruesomes - Live From Hell CD
The Forgotten Rebels - In Love With The System CD
Thor - Keep The Dogs Away 30th Anniversary Edition CD

I was disappointed to see that no one was stalking the new Hanson Brothers 2-CD set called It's A Living, but I'll snag it online sooner rather than later.

Sunday we woke up and drove back to Niagara Falls to visit with my sister, her husband, and their two super cool kids but once noon hit, it was time to drive back to NY. We made it back late Sunday night and as rushed as the trip was and as exhausted as I was from it, I'm glad we did it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My education finally pays off.

Made over a decade after graduating....
Made after spending $1500 on A/V hardware...
Edited in about 20 minutes....

The Amazing Super RadDog Sitting Video! (notes: the background music has some naughty words in it. Blame Prince, not me).

My first short film. I bet my parents are so proud right now they're shedding tears of joy.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Twisted Sister's Twisted Christmas Spectacular!

So in honor of Alison's birthday yesterday, we went and saw Twisted Sister at the Nokia Theater in Times Square for thier 'Twisted Christmas' spectacular, which is a fun sort of metal goofy holiday thing that they've been doing for a few years now.

I'll admit, I wasn't sure about this and I splurged on the VIP tickets for her sake and was a bit skeptical about whether or not this show would deliver or not. Before the show we eat some tasty Indian food and I was also worried that I might poop my pants later in the evening. Thankfully, that didn't happen.

At any rate, we got to the venue and didn't really care about the opening acts so we sat at a table and people watched. I drank some beers and we saw a dude who look a bit like Mark Tolch wearing a Manowar shirt on top of another Manowar shirt. He would periodically switch them throughout the night. I thought that was pretty metal and for once felt out-Manowared. Now I have something to aspire to.

After people watching, we wandered into the auditorium where Eddie Trunk was on stage getting people stoked to see the band. Mick Foley was also wandering around, which was pretty rad. Once Trunk was done, the lights went down and the music started up. Once the curtain went down and the lights came back up, the band came out, one at a time... everyone except Dee. A few seconds later, Mini-Kiss came out carrying Dee on a sled of some sort, he was dressed like Santa.

The stage was pretty rad. It had a machine up top where good Santa dolls would go in and 'metal' Santa dolls would come out. On the left there was a thing that looked like the pod from The Fly and periodically people would pop out of it, but more on that in a bit. The stage hands were all dressed like elves and would throw inflatable balls shaped like Christmas ornaments into the crowd throughout the show.

The Santa suit came off and the band went back and forth between doing heavy metal Christmas tracks and older actual Twisted Sister tracks. Remember that Fly pod I mentioned earlier? Well it opened up and Lita Ford came out dressed in red pleather cat suit thing. I don't know how she fit into it. I was hoping she'd sing a Lita Ford song or two, or maybe bust out a Runaways tune but no. She and Dee did a duet to I'll Be Home For Christmas though, and that was kinda cool. Once Lita was done, Mick Foley came out on stage and asked everyone what they wanted for Christmas. Eddie wanted some wine and a smoke, AJ wanted to be tall, The Animals wanted a twelve car garage, some tools and a tank to drive around NYC, and I forget what Jay Jay French wanted, something about not having to use lipator, which I think is cholesterol medication. Dee wasn't sure what he wanted... he thought about it for a minute, and then, surprising nobody but pleasing everyone, he screamed out, I WANNA ROCK! at which point, they played that song. Which made perfect sense. They finished up and then came out for the expected encore where they did the whole twelve days of Christmas thing before closing with We're Not Gonna Take it, at which point Lita Ford and Mini-Kiss came back out again.

All in all, it was one of the most fun shows I've seen in ages. I had my doubts, but they were definitely put to rest about 2 minutes into the show. These guys may be getting on in years but they still deliver live and Dee's still got amazing energy up on stage. They sounded great, really tight and super heavy and they had the crowd eating it up. What a killer show.

But the night was not over!

After the show, cause we had the fancy VIP tickets, we got to go backstage and do a meet and greet with the band. They were all pretty friendly and Dee made me do one of those 'respect knuckle punch' things when he noticed I had a Warriors t-shirt on. He also wished Alison a happy birthday. We also got rad Christmas cards from the band, that they signed, which was kinda funny. After that Mark Mendoza yelled at everyone and told them to get out of the room, so we went home. Alison fell asleep on the subway. When we got home we drank Snapple and I ate a Twix bar.