A Band Named Barley Juice

I attended an event recently at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, PA, and had to be subjected to the sound of screeching sirens that is the band Barley Juice. The combined sounds of nails on a chalk board, a baby crying, microphone feedback, vomiting, and explosive diarrhea is more tolerable than the horrific instrumentals and vocals spewing from the stage.
My Thought:
I hope there wasn’t a meet up group for people trying to cope with suicidal tendencies, as their music would definitely drive someone slit their wrists to escape the painful sound of Barley Juice.
Thought Contributed from a Friend:
“What their herb-poisoned minds consider music is in fact a felonious assault on the auditory senses. Your sense of hearing is the world Trade Center and their music is Flight 11.”
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The Adventures of Mike & Stephanie: Friday, 2/24/17

This was a special day for Mike and I as this was my first time seeing Found Footage live! Where else better than to see this for the fist time than The Big Apple.
When Mike and I first started dating Found Footage was one of the first things he shared with me. He knew that I would be hooked! And I was!
What is The Found Footage Festival?
“The Found Footage Festival is a one-of-a-kind event that showcases footage from videos that were found at garage sales and thrift stores and in warehouses and dumpsters across the country.” from http://www.foundfootagefest.com/
We couldn’t ask for a more perfect day, sunny skies, spring like weather, and the perfect company of each other.
We got amazing seats on PATCO and sat in the very front of the train. We were like two kids that took the train for the very first time; giggling and snapping pictures of every cool thing we saw.
Once we arrived in Philly we started our trek to the Greyhound Station, but our first order of business was to hit up the 7-Eleven for our travel staples. This included iced tea, Fiji Water, Peanut M&M’s, Slim Jim’s and newly added, a bag of 7-Eleven Brand Honey Roasted Cashews. No need for Monster Energy, as I was already prepared with a can in my back pack.
We were on a Peter Pan Bus for this trip. Which excited me because in my mind I am imagining the bus flying through the air like Captain Hooks ship.
Mike had his usual ants in his pants when we first took our seats and feverishly started digging through his back pack for his power strip and phone chargers. If his cell phone falls below 80% that is just cause for panic!
He finally settled down, we munched on our snacks and enjoyed the ride.
I started to get goosebumps as I started to see the skyline of the city that never sleeps, as I knew this amazing day was about to go into full swing!
We hopped off the bus and organized our selves and of course I had to pee. I wanted to die as I saw the long line of vile women waiting to use the bathroom. I waited in line with dread wondering who I would have to go in the tall after.
Our first official order of business was to go to Forbidden Planet Comics in search of the “Flash Gordon” pop vinyl which was the last one my brother and I needed to complete our collections. As we entered the store I started to paruze all of the pop vinyls on display. Low and behold I found the last two, that’s right the last two Flash Gordon pop vinyls in the store.
Mike found an awesome gem too. He snatched him self up a Brodie in action figure from the movie Mallrats.
We also discovered a huge shelf of DVDs that we did not notice in our last visit. Among them he noticed two copies of Found Footage which excited Mike as he had never seen them sold in a store before.
Back to the pavement we went to venture into SoHo to Bluestockings Book Store.
As we were walking there we saw many fun things. Among my favorite was seeing the intersection of 1st and 1st. If anyone is a die hard Seinfeld fan they would know the significance behind the importance of this landmark.
The Bluestocking is now in among the Top 5 places Mike has showed me. What an amazing little independent book store. It’s like Bohemian meets punk rock kind of atmosphere.  I bought a handful of interesting books.
List books here
We sat and relaxed a bit as we were waiting to hear back from our friend Charles Dunbar who we would be meeting for dinnner and seeing Found Footage with.
We met Charles in Chinatown, and he suggested that we eat at this restaurant called XO. XO provides an extensive selection of Chinese food, in a quaint and eye catching atmosphere.
The food was amazing. I had eggplant with garlic sauce and pan fried dumplings nthat came highly recommended by Charles.
Being in Charles company is quite enjoyable and entertaining, as he is as wonderful as Mike described. I have met him twice before at anime conventions, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to get to know him in a “hanging out” type of setting.  He is an amazing person with dazzling qualities. He is an anthropologist in Japanese culture and has splendis stories about the time he spent in Japan. He paints vivid pictures with his words making you feel like you are actually there.
Out of XO we went to the subway station to head to Brooklyn to The Bell House to see Found Footage.
As each minute crept closer to the start of the show it was hard for me to contain my excitement. We sat patiently as the room filled so much that people had to stand, as this was not a typical show; this was the actual taping for the Volune 8 DVD.
Steve Young was the special guest and kicked off the show. He was a writer for The Letterman Show as well as The Simpsons. He shared his love for industrial musicals.
“An industrial musical is a musical performed internally for the employees or shareholders of a business, to create a feeling of being part of a team, to entertain, and/or to educate and motivate the management and salespeople to improve sales and profit. It can be used to increase staff awareness of public relationsadvertisingmarketing or corporate image.”
– Quoted from Wikipedia
He shared copies of a Kellogg’s Sales Meeting from 1973, as well as a video to hype salesmen up to sell for Dodge Motors.
It was quite entertaining!
Finally it was time for Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett to take the stage and own the night!
I will not give any spoilers, as you have to see Volume 8 for yourself. The only spoiler I will give you is that Mike’s name was mentioned in the credits as well as his friend Ashley for their wonderful contributions (VHS/DVDs).
I laughed so hard that my stomach was killing me by the end of the show.
Following the show we went and waited in the foyer area of the theater for Nick & Joe, as Mike was eager to finally introduce me to them, and to hand them a few gems (VHS/DVDs) he found in some Thrift Stores.
Check out their website, you will not be disappointed.
And that concludes another amazing adventure with an amazing guy!

The Man by the Trash Can

The other day I was pulling into a parking lot of a WaWa in South Philadelphia. When I got out of my car there was an African-American man sitting by the trash can begging for change and food. Usually I mutter all sorts of colorful obscenities under my breath, as the City of Brotherly love is overrun by “beggars” that have all kinds of sob stories that I less than give a shit about. This man was different. He wasn’t rude like other “beggars” using non-typical words such as please and thank you. As I gazed upon him I could see that his face was withered and worn with a look of pure desperation in his eyes. I could actually see the “sadness” that followed him around like a little black rain cloud.

As I am in the store getting myself some iced tea I kept wondering what the man’s story was. What was it that brought him sitting outside a WaWa in hopes that a good samaritan would do something kind for him?

Instead of having my usually shitty attitude regarding this matter; I decided to make a small difference in the man’s day. I grabbed a few iced teas, some soft pretzels and a pre-made sandwich from the case.

As I handed the bag to the man he gazed a me in shock. He explained that I was the first person in a long time that went out of their way and actually gave him something to eat out of the kindness of their heart.

I said “My pleasure; I hope you enjoy it. Have a nice day, and hope things start coming up sunshine for you.”

Driving away my eyes filled with tears thinking of the man, and the kind words he said to me.

The Adventures of Mike & Stephanie: The Great Chicken Cutlet Sammie Debacle of Saturday, 2/18/17

Mike and I had dinner at Sabrina’s Cafe on 18th and Callowhill Streets in the Fairmount Section of Philadelphia this evening. We decided on this restaurant as Mike exclaimed how delectable their chicken cutlets were. What an adorable place it was. It had a very relaxed and welcoming atmosphere with dim lighting and quaint cafe style seating.

Of course Mike ordered Mel’s Chicken Cutlet Sandwich MINUS the roll with sesame seeds, marinated long hots and spinach. Instead he asked for wheat toast, chicken cutlet with cheese only and NO coleslaw on the plate.

As we are sitting having some nice conversation our waitress brings the food to our table. To Mike’s surprise his sandwich was made correctly with one exception, part of the sandwich was laying on top of a side of coleslaw! I noticed that “look” in Mike’s eyes; then a meltdown commenced. The frantic smelling of the bread because it was tainted by coleslaw. Then the cutting of the tainted pieces of bread started. The last straw was hearing the love of my life calling himself a freak because he little quirk.

I explained to him that he was not a freak, and he needs to stop whining and solve the issue at hand. I assured him that his quirk was normal and completely acceptable. If society can accept people that will not eat meat then dammit society can accept someone that does not eat vegetables. I told him that he has two choices; 1. to accept that they fucked up his order after he politely requested what he wanted, or 2. tell the waitress to have a new sandwich made for him, because he is allergic to cabbage. Mike took my advice and asked the waitress for a new sammie. The waitress politely obliged and had a new sandwich made for him.

She brought the freshly made sammie to the table, and all was right in the world. To see him enjoy every little bite of his expectation of the perfect chicken cutlet samdwich meant everything to me. He was happy and content with his meal.

You had me at “I’m Snipped”

Those were not the exact words that Mike used when we first started talking, but knowing that he had a vasectomy was another check mark in the positive column for this guy.

When you first start talking to someone of the opposite sex, especially at my age you intently wait for the …. “Do you have kids?” “Do you want kids?” when I say no; it’s always a barrage of idiotic questions that follow. So to be fortunate enough to find someone with similar views on the matter was quite soothing.

No I did not choose not to have kids, because I hate them! That is everyone’s first assumption, which I am sorry, but that makes you kind of an asshole! I don’t judge those that want to have kids especially in the fucked up society we have today. Nor do I judge those (well I kind of do) that do not know how to keep their legs shut, and my hard work pays for them to feed, clothe and house their little accidents.

It’s a personal choice like it is sometime’s choice to have a kid. I don’t question your choices so please don’t question mine!

 

 

 

 

 

Chew Comic Series…You Need to Read It!!!!

Although I am a little behind in my reading; this is hands down one of the most incredible and creative stories I have read! Chew is written by John Layman with amazing artwork by Rob Guillory, and published by Image Comics.

Chew is about a Tony Chu, a United Stated FDA agent that solves crime by getting psychic impressions from the food that he eats; yes that’s right he can take a bite of food and receive psychic impressions!

The story takes place in a time where all chicken and other bird meats are illegal, after a horrific outbreak of the bird flu killed 23 million Americans. The protagonist is Tony Chu, a police detective who is a Cibopath (will be explained momentarily). It all begins with Tony becoming a vice cop with the Philadelphia Police Department, and while on an assignment in search of chicken smugglers, receives an invitation from the US FDA to  enter a black market chicken restaurant . He has a bowl of chicken soup only to find he gets a psychic impression of the cook killing people and putting them into the soup. He goes to bust the cook, only for the cook to kill himself outside the restaurant. Chu eats the cook to find out the names of the rest of the victims. He is fired from his job with the Philadelphia PD and gets hired on to the FDA by an agent named Mason Savoy, who is also a cibopath.

Now to explain, a Cibopath can take a bite from anything and get a psychic sensation of what has happened to that object. The only thing it does not work on is beets.

Sounds interestingly amazing so far, right? I suggest going on amazon and ordering the books, you will be addicted!

 

Blitz The Comic Book Guy

I was introduced to this wonderful specimen at Anime USA 2016 (You can read my blog about Anime USA here.); by my boyfriend Mike while visiting his booth in the Dealers Room. Blitz was cosplaying as Dr. Clayton Forrester from MST3K complete with his own Tom Servo! He also hosted a Panel entitled “Awesomely Bad Japanese Music Videos” that was horribly wonderful.

Most importantly he is the creator of, “Conventional Wisdom, What happens at an anime convention doesn’t stay at an anime convention”. Blitz squeeeed in delight that Mike snatched up every issue he had proudly displayed on his table, and noted that Mike single handedly turned a profit for him that weekend.

Blitz’s comic was an “accident” of sorts. When he started attending cons many moons ago, he would keep a journal of the weekend and post them on “before there was Facebook” social media. When attending his first Otakon, he wanted the memory  to be epic and incorporated a few cartoons about the weekend in the journal. When this was noticed people started taking to it, asking to see his work. Shortly after he realized the magnitude of his creation he started flaunting his creation for all to see, and has become a staple for many con goers ever since.

I give his comic the Cookeepuss seal of approval!

 

Check out Blitz The Comic Book Guy on the following sites:

https://twitter.com/blitzcomicguy

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Conventional-Wisdom/112172762175632

https://www.tumblr.com/register/follow/blitzthecomicguy

http://conventionalwisdom.smackjeeves.com/

 

 

The Adventures of Mike & Stephanie: Anime USA 10/21/16-10/23/16

This was one of the best weekends I have had in quite a long time, and was the very first anime con I attended thanks to my wonderful boyfriend and partner in crime!

FRIDAY

NOT A STELLAR START TO THE WEEKEND
Our day started by having to take my cat Duke (aka pu pu) to the vet. I had a complete meltdown that the poor little guy was having problems urinating in his litter box. Thank God the vet was able to get me in immediately. He wound up having an infection, and Mike and I had to hang around my place a majority of the day waiting for him to pee so we could drop off a sample to the vet. I was grateful that I had Mike with me and that Shelly and Jamie were understanding as to why we were held up for a bit. Mike was kind enough to drive Duke’s sample to the vet for me so I could finish packing and getting ready.
JAMIE AND SHELLY
I was excited to finally meet the infamous Jamie as Shelly had told me so much about him. When we pulled up and saw their bags, we looked in the back of my car with all our bags and chuckled. Thank the Lord for us Tetris players back in the day or we would have never been able to squeeze all of our stuff into the car.
THE DRIVE DOWN AND CON CHECK-IN
The drive was fun! Of course we had to stop at a rest stop to pee and for Mike to get his “ghetto gourmet” rest stop meal. It was from this place called Burger King; I don’t know if anyone has ever heard of it. I of course had to go glance over the chotchkies in the convenience store. There I was kind enough to buy Shelly and Jamie some condoms and breath mints. They had asked Mike and I earlier if we had some to spare. What a silly question to ask a couple where the male in the relationship has a vasectomy.
Back on the road we went ….
A few pee stops later and some traffic, we finally pulled up to the con hotel. Mike, Shelly and Jamie went in to get our con badges, as I had to double park because it was so busy. Mike had to come and get me to go inside to get my over 18 wrist band. I felt bad because I was annoyed that he got my twitter handle wrong on my con badge, but I digress. He meant well and was only trying to be helpful.
Off to our hotel we went. What a fun drive that was, NOT! DC is a pain in the ass to drive in to say the least.
We finally made it, and it was so worth it; the hotel was absolutely elegant. I got us all checked in, set up parking and off to our room we went.
Mike and I hurried along to get unpacked and organized, we wanted to head back to the con hotel for a panel.
AWESOMELY BAD JAPANESE MUSIC VIDEOS AND BOOBIES
Mike and I headed out to the con hotel to see a panel literally titled “Awesomely Bad Japanese Music Videos” hosted by Blitz the Comic Guy (@blitzcomicguy on Twitter). It was like a train wreck that you can’t take your eyes off of. I almost peed a little from laughing so hard. What cracked me up the most was a guy among the audience that obviously had no life and knew practically every video being shown. I’m not saying that it is a bad thing, just made the panel that much more entertaining. (You can read my blog about Blitz The Comic Guy here.).
After the panel we headed back to our hotel to get all gussied up to hit a few bars….
Camelot Show Bar (totally my idea)
Interesting to say the least. The dancers were sub-par and the drinks were way overpriced. I loved how some of the gals walked around “begging” for money to be shoved in their beaver covers. Our waitress was hotter than the girls up on the stage. She had a set of tits that screamed to be motor boated. Wet floor sign, please!
1813
This was a cool bar with a lot of character, literally. We chilled in there for about a little over an hour; it was approaching almost 2am, and the last call in DC is 2:45am. What a great place to people watch, such characters that come out of the wood works at that hours.
Hangry!
Mike and I were famished after leaving 1813, and saw that there was a 24 hour McDonald’s near by. Needles to say they are !@#!#!@*!!!!#! liars! They are total cock teases with their glorious open 24 hour sign proudly and wrongfully placed on their door. Drunk Stephanie wanted chicken nuggets and was denied, by someone with barely a kindergarten education! So Mike decided to take me to the classiest place in town to get some food in my drunk belly; 7-11! There he showered me with a bag of cool ranch Doritos and quite frankly I was too drunk to remember what else.
We walked back to our hotel and chilled in the upper section of the lobby that had a really comfy couch and had a heart to heart regarding some things from earlier in the week. After some emotional overload we decided to go back up to our room and get some sleep.
SATURDAY
We slept pretty good for being in a double bed together. Shelly was kind enough to inform Mike and I of how loud we snore. Ooops!
Since it was approaching lunch time we decided to go get a bite to eat before we prepped our cosplay. In a unanimous vote we decided to chow down at Potbelly’s. After lunch we headed back to the hotel to prep for cosplay!
Let the cosplay begin……
Mike as Captain N
For those of you that don’t know Captain N: The Game Master is an American–Canadian animated television series that aired on television from 1989 to 1991 as part of the Saturday morning cartoon lineup on NBC. (Captain N show intro.) 
Mike of course thought that it would be awesome to dress as him for the con.
Awesome costume thanks to his father and I. His dad was kind enough to iron the patch on his jacket, and I the wonderful girlfriend made his game controller belt and did his hair to match perfectly to the character. It took several globs of gel, pomade and hairspray to make that happen. Needless to say the costume came out perfect.
Shelly as Terra Branford/Final Fantasy
This is something that is way out of her comfort zone, so it made her cosplay much more special. I assisted her with getting the wig perfect to match the character she was being, as well as insisting on doing her make up. The result was pure awesome. I was so excited for her to strut her stuff around the con for all to see and fuss over.
The Cheshire Premiers at AUSA
I of course had to rock my Cheshire Cat around the con.
Con Festivities
Seeing all of the cosplayers tickled me pink. I saw everything from Sailor Moon to Arthur; it was outstanding!
Mike took me to a panel hosted by Charles Dunbar. I found it quite interesting to say the least, and learned a wealth of knowledge about amine and Japanese culture in general.
It was funny, during the panel Charles actually stopped his lecture to say hello to Mike (he is quite the popular person with some).
To learn more about Charles Dunbar visit http://www.studyofanime.com/p/about.html.
We then ventured to the game room. It was sick! The room had to be at least 6000 square feet and chock full of every game you can think of from classic arcade to a games to Japanese cabinet games. My favorite is called Cho Chabudai Gaeshi! (Super Table-Flip!). In a nutshell you play an angry person that slams then flips over a table. The actual controller for this game; a mini freaking table!Check out a video here https://gaming.youtube.com/watch?v=N8aELkaVjYk.
The Dealers Room and Artist Alley had aisles upon aisles of awesomeness. The only way to describe  – a flea market for nerds!
If you’re looking for your plushees, manga, pocky, rare collectibles, hentai, geek themed jewelry, a print of Darth Vader and Jesus playing golf, etc.; THEY GOT IT! The Dealers Room is the place to be!
Dinner at Tono Sushi
Not a bad place except for the fact that their service was so slow a corpse could have served us our beverages and food faster. It’s a try at your own risk type of places. Poor Jamie threw his meal up later that evening.
Nap Time at our Hotel
We all went back to the room to chill before going to the rave. After sleeping for about an hour and change I woke up to start getting ready for the premier of Father Fenn and Sister Stephie. Mike and I looked amazing in our outfits. So out we went to return to the con hotel.
The rave was a total bust; it was the equivalent of a school dance with people just standing around staring at the floor with the exception of the handful of people dancing.
We ditched the rave and ventured over to the game room. We played the wonderful Cho Chabudai Gaeshi! (Super Table-Flip!) and Mario World for a bit.
Mike and I decided to go back to 1813 for some libations. AKA Mike nursing one beer all night while I chug down drinks like the classy broad that I am! Of course we received some odd stares from people as we walked in, and at one point were even told we were in the wrong place. Ummmm yeah because a real nun wears slutty makeup, fish net stockings with no panties complimented by a pair of CFMPs (come f**k me pumps). ; )
We closed the place down again leaving me stumbling out the door and off to the streets. Mike and I decided to give the 24 hour McDonald’s a whirl again, S-U-C-C-E-S-S we chowed down on our chicken nuggets and Mike complimented his meal with a cheeseburger.
SUNDAY
We all slept in for a bit, packed it up and went over to the con hotel for one last loop around the festivities, and most importantly scour the dealers den for any last minute must haves. After we walked around DC for a few hours so Jamie could take in some of the sights. Then went back to the hotel to retrieve our luggage and the car, then hit the road home.
Summing it up……
Over all it was an amazing weekend with two good friends and an amazing boyfriend. I would definitely attend AUSA again!
For More Information on Anime USA visit
 View some pics from the weekend here:

The Adventures of Mike & Stephanie: Rocky Horror Halloween Show Friday, 10/14/16

It was a fun night despite the fact that Jules had to bail out at the last minute due to her fibromyalgia. I felt horrible, because I knew that she was looking forward to coming out with us for weeks.

After redoing my make up roughly three times (I wanted to look perfect), I ventured out to the city to meet up with Mike and Jon. I was so excited to see Mike in his Halloween costume (Dr. Cosmo McKinley from Shock Treatment), and I know he was equally excited to see me in mine (I dressed as a naughty nun).

The night prior I was up until after 1am preparing his costume while watching Shock Treatment for the first time. For you Rocky Horror fans out there I highly recommend this movie. Is it the best no, but it’s like a train wreck that you can’t take your eyes off of. If you like bad singing, acting and have a thing for incest; then this is definitely a movie for you.

I parked in our usual spot at 5th and Market where the boys met me, well scared the shit out of me actually. I did not realize that they were coming into the garage to meet me, and became startled when Mike came down the stairwell. We dumped some stuff in my car then ventured out into the streets of Old City.

We popped into 7-Eleven so Mike could pick up a gift card for Little Miss Roller Hoops (it was her birthday). While there the guy behind the counter actually asked me if I was a real nun. What?!? The last I remembered nuns did not wear slutty make up, fishnet stockings and sexy heels. I found it flattering and hysterical all at the same time, as I knew the guy was obviously flirting with me. The whole situation gave the three of us a hearty chuckle.

On to Happily Ever After we went. I was excited to get a PB and banana smoothie. Mike got his usual cup of dry Captain Crunch and iced Chi Tea, and Jon got what looked like chocolate lava cake. YUM!

Off to the Ritz we went! Mike and I got quite the stairs walking through the city streets in our Halloween costumes.

It was a fun time as usual! Mike’s costume was a hot of course, and he was pulled out of his seat by one of the shadow cast members when they played the trailer for Shock Treatment. The shadow cast opened the show with the dance from Young Frankenstein; it was pretty amazeballs, as that is my favorite scene from the movie. The lines thrown out during the movie were entertaining as usual.

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