Sunday, 23 June 2013

Get Lucky


Yes, Comrades

You currently find me at Philadelphia, got a three hour wait as of now until I board the blimmin' plane. I slept the entire four hour flight, have just bought 200 Mayfair and once this is done, I'll have other pursuits to indulge. However, let's rewind...

I woke up at 9am, there was no one else there. That's never happened before. I decided the need for a slash outweighed the want to stay in bed. Right when I decided this, I saw Irie Nancy's shadow drift past the pinned-up towel that was keeping sunlight out of my room in the front. Like Sheba and Tree say, "Oh well". I got up.

After some time doing morning things like fixing my Jack Nicholson from The Shining look, we headed to the Zias at Camelback. Still no Dawn, but we did spy something Nancy recommended: Reefer Madness. Also spied the perfect gift for someone. I got that along with the 'Madness Trilogy'. The films are unintentionally hilarious and misinformed 30s propaganda films. I didn't realise it until we were en route to Mama Sheba's, but the gift I bought already had the Madness Trilogy on it, along with 17 other films. I swear, sometimes I can be really stupid, buying two of the same thing...

At Sheba's, I saw her, Eddie, Debbie, Tree, Anjelica, other Eddie and yet another relative I hadn't met before. I gave them their gifts of an Abbey Road LP and a Jo Koy DVD. Don't think I've mentioned him yet, but Sheba loves that comedian - throughout the trip she was repeating the "I'm sorry Joseph" sleep apnia routine, presumably to drive me to insanity. It's like he was on the trip with us, should've bought him a present (sorry again Nancy)!

We took a drive to see Tempe Beach Park again. It was completely empty this time, not a soul to be seen in the super scorching sun. We strolled alongside the lake and didn't take long to get back in the car to see Buffalo Exchange, a thrift shop. One mention of that Macklemore bastard will land tha in hot water.

I saw a snazzy white jacket, but left it. We popped back home to get my smokes. There, plenty of hugs and handshakes were exchanged, culminating in Mr Nancy presenting me with a watch. Wow, innit? Back to Sheba's to pick her up and make haste to Lolo's Chicken And Waffles. I mean, for fuck's sake. Chicken and waffles? Pleased to report the very left field combination somehow worked. Only in America.

Irie Nancy, Mama Sheba, Tree, Debbie and I sat out back and had our final, or my final, blunts. Enjoyed them, but I've definitely built a tolerance born of keeping up with those crazies. My self-control has soared, even though I say so myself. We left, dropped Sheba off and headed to the drive-in again.

Even without popcorn or beer, the experience is still better. World War Z, which I believe we were watching on its release day. I actually really liked it, they've somehow reinvented the zombie all over again. Four stars, would recommend. Straight home after this, no music. It couldn't top the moment where we drove to Sheba's and felt the raw, emotional sucker punch that Elbow's Newborn brings anyway.

I showed Nancy me old Bebo (mind that shite?) photos, I saw a few minutes of her years-old home video and we watched a bit of Reefer Madness. It was every bit as brilliant as I expected. The moment came too quick: 3:30am. We quietly got in the car and made the melancholy journey back to Sky Harbor. I had to sacrifice my shoes gift to meet the suitcase weight limit and at around 5am, we said bye. In the words of the immortal Del Boy, "This isn't goodbye, it's just...bonjour"

Well droogs, this is essentially the end of our little story, for now. I've met a lot of good, funny, interesting people, I've had some times that will be hard to top, I've enjoyed the lot. I will return to Phoenix, sooner than you might think. My heart fell heavy as I saw the city, the mountains and the lakes become smaller and more distant from the sky. Yeah I'm going to go back, of course I'm going to go back. I'd be doing America a disservice by not doing so! I've apparently touched a lot of people here, and I know they've touched me. Now if you'll excuse me, I need a beer. See you somewhere down the road.

 "Like the legend of the Phoenix, ha...
  All ends with beginnings
  What keeps the planets spinning
  The force from the beginning

  The present has no ribbon
  Your gift keeps on giving
  What is this I'm feeling?
  If you want to leave, I'm with it

  We've come too far
  To give up who we are
  So let's raise the bar
  And our cups to the stars

  She's up all night to the sun
  I'm up all night to get some
  She's up all night for good fun
  I'm up all night to get lucky

  We're up all night to the sun
  We're up all night to get some
  We're up all night for good fun
  We're up all night to get lucky

  We're up all night to get lucky
  We're up all night to get lucky
  We're up all night to get lucky
  We're up all night to get lucky"

In a bit.

Broken Stones


Yes, Comrades

Aw, that rise was painful. Half six, honestly. We got ourselves loaded back into the car and before any of us knew it, we were all unconscious. I was first up at around 9, I wrote in this bleedin' thing and soon the others were up too.

I bought a scorpion lollipop at Arizona Mills. Would've taken me a minute to look back and see if I'd mentioned it, couldn't be bothered. Anyway, I ate it. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd eat scorpion again. It was crunchy and even creamy, the lolly itself was worse - no flavour, just pure sugar.

We had a bite (literally, in my case) at Jack In The Box, next thing we knew, we were back in Phoenix. We didn't see that amazing shop on the way back that sold Mexican trains and backgammon (seriously, their sign said that) sadly, but the journey was just as enjoyable.

Some time at Nancy's recuperating and eating snot flavoured jelly beans - bloody Beanboozled - and we dropped Nico off after me trying hookah for the first time at Mama Sheba's. I had gave in by now, but it didn't matter - neither Zias, FYE or Fry's Electronics had my Really Fucking Souped Up version of Dawn Of The Dead. I got something else, but still, they had it before! The fuck?

We ate our OK's at Sheba's, which was lovely, I met Miranda, then we blitzed up again, maybe for the last time, we'll see. A nice drive downtown and we went home to watch Beyond Scared Straight, finish week-old Malibu and have an early night.

Just tying up loose ends here. I have missed a shitload of details throughout this journal which likely deserve preservation. I fell in love with Paranoid Android whilst here, I will be looking more into the works of The Gin Blossoms, Clara Rockmore, Giorgio Moroder and many other things identified at the museum. Random Access Memories, that one song in particular, has soundtracked this entire trip - the song Touch is my favourite, it soundtracked one special hour in Las Vegas that brought tears of both sorrow and elation. Not from me I hasten to add, but that's irrelevant. The billboard had a computer crash on the drive home this day, but I was too slow to snap it. I haven't met one person here I've disliked and I'm certainly coming back. "If love is the answer, you're home"

"So lost and alone, trying to get home"

In a bit.

Baba O'Riley


Yes, Comrades

It would be a bit silly for me to try to narrate this day's events at Disneyland in order, simply because so much happened. But in Adventureland, we took a river tour through a jungle with a corny but likeable guide and let Mr Nancy's glowing shirt guide us through the temple of doom in Indie's jeep.

In New Orleans Square, the Pirates ride wound up being closed. We got on it at night, munching popcorn and mocking each other. Haunted Mansion too - I don't know how they do half the shit they do on that ride. Mindblowing.

I felt up some goats in the Critter Country petting zoo, then we used old faithful Single Rider on Splash Mountain, which we rode a total of four times. My personal favourite.

We ate at Carrow's again. Most of us got the Surf and Turf Feast - lobster tail, steak, shrimp, a baked potato and garlic cheese bread. So yes, Bunny Bongo, I am indeed eating all the things.

Nancy and I took a time-killing stroll before the parade, which was very impressive, I must say. In Toontown, we met that egomaniac Mickey Mouse. He's a character, isn't he? We also got to gawk at Jessica Rabbit on the Car Toon Spin, all the while arguing about the correct pronunciation of Maleficent.

Mr Toad's Wild Ride in Fantasyland broke down. So, we rode the carousel, the very disappointing, whiplash-inducing Matterhorn Bobsleds and had a cuppa with the Mad Hatter in Alice In Wonderland's spinning teacups.

In Tomorrowland, we soared through Alderaan, Tatooine et al in Star Tours, in which Irie Nancy was identified as a rebel spy. Great fun. Space Mountain was closed, surprise fooking surprise, so was Thunder Mountain in Frontierland, by the way. We then raced in the on-tail bumper cars in Autopia before riding the Monorail and seeing next to nothing.

During the fireworks display and the light show, the park turned into a free-for-all, people fighting and sprinting down lines they already jumped. We joined in. We left at 11pm, having spent 13 hours there (and at Carrow's), me with ice cream in hand from Nico. The one part I missed was a one-titted woman at a bus stop asking Mama Sheba for money.

"I came here to get my picture taken with Rex from Toy Story, and I'm going to get my fucking picture taken with Rex from Toy Story!"
"Let's get together before we get much older"

In a bit.

Stay Young


Yes, Comrades

Ok, straight to the point: we parked at 'T as in E.T.' parking at Universal Studios. The walk through the plaza gave us a giant Popcornopolis, a huge neon guitar by Hard Rock, shrimp taters, shrimp stew, shrimp sandwich...

We saw that famous globe thing then walked the red carpet into the park. Straight away we met Beetlejuice, The Mummy, Frankenstein and Scooby Doo. That would be my one tiny disappointment: no my beloved Creature From The Black Lagoon. I got over that quickly though, no skin off my tit.

Our first stop as at Krustyland, where the motion simulator pretty wack. Then to Doc Brown's Best Chicken Of All Time. I have to say, it was pretty bitching. We then walked the House of Horrors, which I admit got me best when a regular worker walked past.

Oh! I totally skipped the Studio Tour! We got priority boarding for filling out a survey. We went through a 360 3D King Kong thing, a flood thing, a Mummy thing, a Psycho thing and lots of other things. Neither photos nor my journal can do it justice, it was great.

We went to the rides next, starting with Jurassic Park. It had stegosauruses so I was made up. Got a thrill out that. Then we exploited the single rider trick and got onto Transformers. Again, top drawer. Megatron and I sized each other up (seriously) then we did The Mummy. Proper freaky, proper fun. One more pop on Jurassic Park, I got to snap the stegos this time, braw.

Mama Sheba had a dance with the street sweeping boogie meisters, then we revisited the House of Horrors. Less performers this time, but these rascals in front were dilly-dallying all over the joint, so I gathered me breath and unleashed my biggest scream to date (but who's keeping score? I am) Their reaction was possibly the greatest thing I've ever seen in my life. Poor girls.

On the way back, we continued playing twenty bleeding questions, stopped at Wienerschnitzl, got pastrami dogs to go, ate them in the room, finished our poof juice, I taught them Consequences (thank you Don and Bunny Bongo) and just had a good old time.

"Come what may, we're unstoppable"

In a bit.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Castles Made Of Sand


Yes, Comrades

After my dream wherein my father was chasing me with a wet cucumber (not sure what that means), we were loaded into the rented people carrier. Cool car - automatic doors, back cam, individual air vents to mess with. We fell asleep instantly, for a measly two hours. Quick stop at Burger King, then we're back on the road.

I think the feature we passed that was most noticeable was a giant wind farm which looked like something from Metropolis, proper freaky. The journey itself was very enjoyable for the sights, for which reason it was over in no time.

We arrived at the Ramada Inn, California. Two spacious rooms back to back with a little pool out front. Back in the tank, straight to Newport Beach. Into the shorts. The sand didn't singe our feet this time, the sea was freezing at first and the waves were for those playing with the big boys. The others were happy to lay in the sun, but I was straight in 'avin it. The current was bloody strong, so often I proper struggled to get back to shore. The waves absolutely towered over everyone else too, when they struck you, your entire body was completely disabled for a few seconds.

Forgot to mention: on the way, I met my old nemesis once again...Riverside. The sights looked vaguely familiar, but no real vitriol was stirred up. We even passed the same Motel 6.

Nico lost his phone. I was split here - phones do no one any real good, but the phone was expensive and he's a decent bloke. In the end I would up helping to look for it, but it had been turned off. Even Californians can be right bastards. Oh wait, we all knew that.

For tea, we ate at Carrow's. I'm not going to lie, my corned beef hash was the bollocks. Those three got Mile High sandwiches, so I felt left out but mine was better so screw them anyway. We enjoyed and upon exit we were treated to a fireworks display nearby. Note to self: Mr Nancy is a lot like Denzel Washington.

Quick stop at a liquor store for Malibu and Black And Milds. In the room, we began our toast and plugged into our respective electronic devices (I stole Irie Nancy's Kindle Fire). The buzz began, but we settled for an early night.

"Many moons passed and more the dream grew strong" 

In a bit.

Don't Fight It, Feel It


Yes, Comrades

Early rise on a Sunday. Like sober bitches, ain't nobody got time for that. But it was Father's Day, and that calls for some sort of celebration. Myself and the ladies headed to the other side of town to pick up Auntie Fran. Despite a fair amount of bad luck, she still had it in her to crack joke after joke. Good going, missus. With our paper ties on, strawberry cupcakes in tow, we arrived at the rehab centre.

Think hospital environments smelling like piss is an international institution. It's also mandatory for all parties to sit around for a good while with nothing at all to say. The four of us huddled around Tata (Desi) Nancy as he continually jumped from English to Spanish and back again. I was sure he called Irie the La Chupacabra at one point. Turns out he actually called her a cockroach. Oh, my mistake.

We're home again, showering, just generally chilling. I'm noticing the lingo rubbing off on me like that - I said "my bad" without realising it the night before, God help us all. Anyway, the father of the house opened his presents and seemed very pleased. We picked up dinner for them, then went to revisit Arizona Mills.

The gift shop girl remembered me from the rattlesnake eggs prank (second best reaction) but she wasn't much use in helping me find things with the Phoenix logo. Fuck you people and your oddly specific requests! We got the remainder of the presents. Next stop, In N Out.

They make damn good burgers. You can even watch the potatoes make their metamorphoses into fries. Don't sound like much, but it's a nice touch. We got off the floor, walked out the door and left the store. When you go to Walmart, be smart, don't put a Hurts album in your shopping cart. Apologies, I seem to have broken into black person poetry.

As I said to Nancy herself, so many entries seem to end with 'popped into Sheba's then went home' but that's what we did. I could genuinely listen to Debbie talk all day, she absolutely cripples me with laughter, even when sober. It's the way she's rarely meaning to be funny, just...talking. But my God, hilarious. We watched The Uninvited, and anyone who knows me can imagine how that made me feel. Then, home. We hung with Nico, watched Columbiana, packed our stuff, then slept. On, California.

Possibly completely unrelated, I can't remember

 "Gonna live the life I love, I'm gonna love the life I live"


In a bit.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Song For Alice


Yes, Comrades

Maybe it's the heat, but I keep sleeping harder than Iain Duncan Smith when he's talking to disadvantaged people. Biting political satire. Anyway, it was a slow after- er, morning, and Mr Nancy said "You know what? You've inspired me to take my first whole week off since 1982" Not bad, eh? I also had a pair of shoes bought for me for the penultimate stretch of my little journey. You'll get it in a bit.

We left without the shoes, which felt slightly too big, went back for them, then headed to the Starbucks on Thunderbird to meet the one known only as Alice. There are many jokes I could make here, but no amount of Mad Hatter or Paul W.S. Anderson references would make my quip original. The lady herself was very charming and intelligent, made for very nice company, hiding in the corner of the patio so we could smoke under the misters. An hour passed and we went our separate ways.

My travelling companion can apparently get antsy without a smoke, so we popped into Sheba's to dope her up. Following this, we went to Phoenix Premium Outlets to swap the shoes. We tried to cut through the casino and following some bullshit, we found Saucony. Even half a shoe size smaller was too small, so after that embarrassing admission, we left with the same shoes we arrived with.

Then to Zias for (maybe, possibly, doubt it) the last time. No aspiring poets this time, but me DVD was now there. If someone could explain to me how they do that, I'd be very grateful. Bought a bunch of gifts and made for the nearest gas station. It'd be tedious for me to write out our shopping list I'm pretty sure.

Really, that was it for the day. We went a short drive then home to eat Klondike, Hershey and Chester the cheetah. Nah, I got nothin'. Onwards!

In a bit.

Shiny Happy People


Yes, Comrades

7:30 rises should be made illegal. Til then, that's what happened as we prepped for our return to Camp Verde. When we got there, I decided that based on my little Vegas win and the fact that this would likely be my last chance to burn my money away totally guilt free to raise the stakes. I did alright, but nothing to write home about. Our little Ms Chow was there again, at the virtual blackjack table, again, this time for at least two hours.

On with the bowling gutties. You fuckers think you know where this is going. Well, you don't, I actually did alright. You could bowl all day for eight bucks, which is just proper mental. We played three very enjoyable games and headed to the buffet. Loved it once again.

We still had some time to kill, so I killed some more capital on Vampire's Embrace. Wouldn't you know it - jackpot. Well, not quite, but a form of it. Well chuffed. I lost more than I won this time around to be honest. The entirety of the bus ride home was spent trying like a man possessed to beat Nancy's high score on Hidden Egg Hunt. I finally succeeded, barely. "I may be petty, but I'm also a winner"

Mrs Nancy took us to El Nuevo Taquito - when a woman asks you if you'd like a cow cheek taco, how does one say no? After some dilly dallying at home - making the good lady fall in love with Crooked Rot - we made haste to Sheba's. We smoked faster than I dare admit, got some beers and headed to Westwind Drive-In on Glendale.

The amount of smiling faces in this place was crazy, I've seen very few frowning Yanks since I've been here now that I think about it. Between The Purge and The Hangover 3, we went for the comedy option. The drive-in was so, so, so much better than the regular cinema, and I say that with no degree of ignorant nostalgia. You can drink, smoke, enjoy the cool night air (while still sweating). As for the movie itself, don't bother. Mr Chow and Alan are the only reasons to watch it. It was enjoyable on the Bud Lites but it didn't half leave a bitter taste in me mouth. After this, we went back home again and just got merry. Well, I did. That sonofabitch ear was at it again though. Think the one-man pissup lasted til around 2am.

 "Put it in your heart where tomorrow shines"

In a bit.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Hey Hey, My My


Yes, Comrades

The idea was to go tubing down the Salt River. That didn't happen. Good, glad we got that out of the way. The new idea was to give Wet 'n' Wild a dip. This was after some jollies at her expense, naturally. After getting almost lost, we arrived.

Apart from parents, we seemed to be the OAP(old and putrid)s of the entire visitorship. After the wave pool, a flume, me jumping on my water board to cool my feet and falling like a cunt, going down slides, down one of those halfpipes that put you almost upside down things, a crazy river that nearly tore me bleedin' arms off seriously guys, more wave pool, numerous comments from males and females young and old about my Bikini Bottom bottoms, an argument about the colours of the rainbow (I won) and a churro, we left.

Alice Cooper cooks some fucking big hot dogs. So, we didn't go to his restaurant, we went to Costco's. Bitches running wild (yes thank you I already know shut up). Their all-beef hot dog turned out to be the mutt's nuts as it happens, for dirt cheap too. Think I had a crossed wire at this point for some reason, so we took a hike.

On the long road to our destination, my ear was playing silly buggers again, but not quite clogging. As we neared what we'd came to, I even turned a deaf ear to a Green Day song. Told you I wasn't feeling myself!

We pulled up at the Musical Instrument Museum. Empty as fuck, like my heart upon such realisation. An octobasse (me neither) pretty much floored us from the get go. One of us is Instagramming it up, the other is in possession of a dying camera and is very upset about it. There was a Steinway piano, which they invited visitor virtuosos to play. A fucking Steinway! I made a feeble attempt to harness Her power, but no, not a Steinway. We wandered, we played proper bongos, I found out I may actually have a talent on the harp and we played a theremin. Seriously droogs, check that shit out. Clara Rockmore. Go.

We explored the instruments of the world, which made us feel very small indeed, I found a thing for 1910s Arizonian music, we witnessed a phantom piano concerto like something straight out of Scooby Doo then packed up.

We made a final pit stop to see Sheba, Helly and Debbie, then finished Prometheus (3 stars).

"There's more to the picture than meets the eye"

In a bit.

Happiness Is A Warm Gun


Yes, Comrades

How can I put this? I shot a gun this hump day. After a spot of research, the car was taken to Shooter's World, Phoenix. The variety of killing machines they had did nout but terrify. We paid our way and next thing, I'm stood with glasses and ear protectors on that effectively rendered me completely deaf with a 9mm Beretta in my hand. Think I was going for the Jill Valentine look. From a 5 yard range, I don't think I performed too badly. The recoil off this little fella was crazy, let alone a magnum, which I'll be shooting next. Some old gent was impressed also.

As the comedown began to set in, I was flapping about in Tempe's indoor wave pool. These waves, if you went back far enough, towered over you and made no bones about laying the smack down on your candy ass. Even more dangerous, though, was to lay down at the front of the pool and just let them hit you. One strike and you're thrown across the pool, given no recovery time, repeat. I had a pop on the slide too.

I then admitted defeat, the other Zias didn't have me DVD. On the way out, a poet was asking for donations. I read his stuff and gave him a dollar. I got his poem 'Departure' in return, with semantic gems like "Like Le Ninjesque, I always liked to tag along." Well, yes, obviously. Thank you, William 'Modesty' Wonderful.

After a stop at McDonalds, we made what may be our final visit to South Mountain. We went to another side of it this time around and took a stroll down the trail. Big mistake. "I could fucking die!" screamed Irie Nancy, as we stared straight into the eyes of a tarantula hawk, which, by the way, has the second most painful sting known to man, second only to the appropriately named bullet ant. Well bugger me Yabby Bassey and Don Bongo, that research for the podcast came in handy after all!

After leaving trails of dust shaped like us in the direction of the car, we arrived at Mama Sheba's. A few smokes later and Ghost Hunters has become a comedy to me. Well no wonder! They're poncing about old theatres, talking to thin air and saying "Elvis, is that you? Do you want to sing here again?" and when the girl said "I have dedicated my entire life to ghost hunting" holy fuck, I popped a tire. It was completely uncontrollable. We left and watched half of Prometheus at home. I loved it, what I could understand.

This obviously isn't mine. Fuck getting a photo of it. But this is what a tarantula hawk looks like
"When I feel my finger on your trigger, I know nobody can do me no harm"

In a bit.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

I Awake


Yes, Comrades

Woke up feeling no pain at a reasonable time. Bit groggy, but nothing particularly left field. After getting ready, still half-deaf, we were on our trip to Easley's Fun Shop. They had masks for everything, even that fucking pear! Sections dedicated to The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, Zombies, Toy Story, you name it. There's that phrase again...they really do have everything though. I got meself a dandy Creature From The Black Lagoon mask and we continued on our adventure.

Having acquired a taste for blades, we arrived at the Fiesta Mall. This mall was very reminiscent of the one from Dawn of the Dead, man. But that one's in Monroeville or some shit. This store had that one sword from Devil May Cry. Remembering that the kind of person who purchases such items thinks saying things like "The weak shall give their hearts and swear their eternal loyalty to me" is fair play, I didn't bother.

FYE was more like HMV with regard to their prices, but it too was a cool music shop. At this point I decided I wanted something in particular that they didn't have, so began the trek to and through the two bigger Zias. No dice. Why can't they just stock Courage the Cowardly fucking Dog?!

Fancied a Burger King, so I got a Burger King. The girl thought I was from London, because my shirt had London on it. She was proper dizzy, blud. South Mountain was closed, so went to Tempe Marketplace. I had began holding my nose and blowing hard, which seemed to be doing something. I stopped though, I didn't want it to work and for the first thing I hear properly to be Enter Sandman.

The marketplace was a joy, awash with neon and good times. We didn't get out, just admired it from the Nancymobile. We took it lastly to a Circle K for some beers. I resumed blowing - God, my left ear is a stubborn bastard. At last, it popped, I was back! To the tune of "You gotta fight, for your right, to paaarrrty!" too. Poetic justice.

We watched Tales From The Crypt, and in one segment, chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, Bing Crosby's bringing in the cheer, then a chick puts a poker right through her husband's head. Well, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast! "It jumped up a notch" - you. It did, didn't it? Bedtime.

"The struggle's real, the force is great"
In a bit.

I Don't Need No Doctor


Yes, Comrades

Another late(r) rise with aqua ears. Shit's pissin' me off. First on the agenda is to buy a fan (I pay all of mine too, har har har) from Walmart. Got some decongestants too by pharmaceutical advice which so far have done sod all.

Figured now was a good time to get a present or two. We found a smoke shop that sold it all: Highland whiskey tobacco, rainbow cigarettes, Cohibas, you name it. After our transaction, the guy shook my hand and invited me to smoke in his shop, sat in a leather chair, feeling like royalty.

My balance was really shaken now. I did have a very small worry, but that's no use to anyone. When I'd readjusted to my Beethoven body, we hit the arcade. Nancy was screaming like no one's business at virtual spiders, while some child prodigy is winning Penguin from Batman toys out the crane machine like it's fucking going out of fashion. Even after finding a pile of tickets that gave us a total nearing 300, we still barely even had enough for a bloody bottle opener!

We saw a ferret being manhandled and bought some more gifts. I walked bang into a practical joke that no one nudged me towards or anything and had a near heart attack, giving them the second best reaction they'd seen. Had the first guy died or what? A weapon store held a lot of goodies, which also showed me I'm not quite as nerdy as I had thought - very little about owning a Halo energy sword replica appeals to me. Still, the gear there was very cool.

Bananas and Rockstars was the order of the day, so we went to Safeway (I'm pretty certain it was the same type we used to have). Then McDonalds, then I drove again to the community college, then we went to a park and sat for a while. Arizona's a real beaute at sundown. Now, home time.

Drinking more Bud Lites, watching Men In Black 3, my ears began giving me the kind of pain I didn't know could exist. I'd rate it a "Holy mother of God, what the fuck was that?!" on the Fuckinstein meter, it's a German device (reference). I decided going to the ER was a bit extreme, so we just watched the last bits of 24 Hour Party People, got jacked up on painkillers and hit the hay.

"I don't need no aspirins, I don't need no lotion, I say, I don't need no vitamin pills"

In a bit.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

My Name Is Carnival


Yes, Comrades

I slept for a modest 13 hours - I fucking love that couch. Me ears were still clogged though. We were unsure what mischief to commit this sunny Sunday, and Google made the Japanese Friendship Garden sound quite promising.

But it's closed for Summer. The Hell, bro? Quite. It looked quite cool as well. Still, never mind, eh? There were two Zia Records outlets left untapped and I really, really like those shops. So we took to the road to Thunderbird and had a gander. As with HMVs, I was just beside meself, not knowing what - if anything - to get. Decided on a movie night to finish up the day, so after a very easy discussion, we got a 15-pack of horror films and a triple-pack of Puppet Master films on the higher end of the sequel spectrum and thus the lower end of the quality scale. Still, the girl was all talky, I put her off visiting my homeland for life, we discussed Random Access Memories - which I also bought - and I snapped the licence plate belonging to a person after my own sardonic heart as we left.

I drove this day. Was quite scary at first, but the fact it was an automatic was more of a shake up than the whole driving on the wrong side of the road thing. But it was fun.

A breakfast platter at Jack in the Box was well in order. It didn't disappoint, either. We went to the Sheba household, I was surrounded by a bunch of crazy Mexicans (they asked me to say) and finally, the final Zias.

Didn't buy anything this time. Get Lucky was on, again. Everyone here has decided I have my own dance for that song too. Wack! We dropped Mama off and went home.

We shoved on the original Carnival of Souls and let the Budweisers and Malibu work their magic. I don't mind admitting that the spooky movie, with its faded organ music (me ears) and dodgy dialogue, was quite unsettling. If I had been here a bit longer, I'd have gone so far as to say it was trippy. "Hater!" It was a good film, I thought. But Nancy did that thing I'm shit at and correctly predicted the ending. It rolled on to the next film, The Haunted Mongoose Corpse or fucking whatever, but we just drank and talked shit for the rest of the evening.

"Sad music in the night sings a scream of light out of chorus"

In a bit.

Stoned Out Of My Mind


Yes, Comrades

Straight in the taxi, hangin' out the window, pantin'. We arrived at Greyhound. I was going back to Arizona, because the minimum travel time to Denver was 19 hours, due to it having to go through Utah. No thank you. It was announced the bus would be an hour late, again, then the lady did her best Bon Qui Qui impression.

Eventually we got on. We lasted about thirty minutes before drifting off at about 8am. The next time I looked at the time, it was coming up on 1pm. None of us had the energy to move at our pit stop, not even for a cigarette in my case.

Mrs Nancy picked us up, almost literally. I tried to speak, but my state of mind wouldn't allow it. Sheba was dropped off and we drove to two Subways. I got me a 6" Spicy Italian - second sub of me life, and how I chose well. When we got back, I was treated like a camel, pumped full of Nyquil, hot lemon juice and Campbell's chicken noodle soup. No, I wasn't bloated and that's not even funny. I was offered a room for the night due to feeling like Sylvester Stallone was narrating my thoughts (no? I heard that somewhere).

Then I was offered something else: To live there. For the last fortnight at least. I accepted while listening to Whiter Shade of Pale, which I actually enjoyed. After this we drove to Mama Sheba's to resume business as usual.

I guess a week away from this stuff had an effect on my tolerance. Three funny cigarettes sent me straight to Hell. We took a drive downtown, Trouble Will Find Me had never sounded so good. Luckily the Nancys were in bed, so we sat in front of the TV watching Cow & Chicken then Dexter's Lab, trying to figure out what the fuck was going on. That Klondike bar was the best thing I'd ever eaten at that moment, as was my kettlecorn. Think I made it to half eleven before disappearing into the couch.

I should plug some gaps here I reckon. The Jessica Rabbit segment of Fantasy must've put a canoe in the pocket of every straight male in the audience, I speak for all of us. Also, props to Don Vegas for the gear. His name actually is Don, Bongo, so no worries, I'm not pulling an Andy from Toy Story and replacing you.

No pics really worth sharing from today.

"I was just a backseat driver in a car of love"

In a bit.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

AKA... What A Life!


Yes, Comrades

The time we were up on this fine afternoon was a bit out of hand. We had our day mapped out in our heads though. After a piss-taking four hours of getting dolled up and drinking melted ice, we got vertical and headed straight for the Bodies exhibition.

Sobriety can be a wonderful thing at times. These were real bodies, taken apart and diagrammed for our revulsion. The smokers lung actually did strike a nerve, in all seriousness. Who knows? No cameras were allowed which was a bit of a pain.

This made us really hungry, so we got us a nice 15" pepperoni pizza, with a side of salad drenched in ranch. From here on, we were killing time, digesting like things that digest like crazy. We strolled to Excalibur to visit Popcornopolis - I just got an ol' bag of kettlecorn, they got a caramel turtle apple which made me nearly slip into a diabetic coma when I tried it. Onwards.

To the bar! I got a flag pole - a 100oz cup that's so big and heavy, it needs to be tied around your neck. I swear at least ten folks had a comment or question for me about it. It was absolutely loaded with booze into the bargain.

Mama Sheba lost her ID but found it again through a mini miracle. After giving our room a quick clean, it was time to get all 'when in Rome' in this bitch and give the Luxor casino another go. Gets interesting here, droogs. After letting Sheba get chatted up by yet another black guy, who was 42, I decided to see what the deal was with the digital slots. I put $5 in, and my face was soon to freeze in complete astonishment and disbelief. I won. I'm not going to say how much, but let's just say the sum I won had four figures in it.

Knowing better than to get caught up, I finished my flag pole and we took the elevator. Will miss our favourite waitress...I took a bath, determined to use it. It was about now I realised I wasn't tired at all, I was ill. Throat, head, stomach and body in general all felt they had Frenchmen living in them. At about 2am, I succumbed to it and passed out, giving those two opportunities they took for 'funny' pictures. The alarm sounded at 4:15am and it was time to check out.

"I'm gonna take that tiger outside for a ride"

In a bit.

Hundred Mile High City


Yes, Comrades

A 12pm rise sure ain't the worst thing that ever happened to me. We spent about three hours getting it all together and went to walk with the sharks at Mandalay Bay. They had the lot: a jellyfish tank; a manta ray petting zoo; divers swimming with sharks giving you thumbs up, you name it. Pretty special.

Smoking outside, a punk with liberty spikes and an Avenged Sevenfold shirt was all effin' 'n' jeffin' to his grandma, who promptly gave the little bastard a slap upside the head for moaning about his tooth.

I got me a massive box of Nerds for $25 at New York, New York, but the lions at MGM Grand were all gone. Still, while we were there, we made haste to Fatburger and had a gay old time. Think the nearest one to us is in London, but it's pretty much worth the trip.

Back to the room to watch The First 48 and Beyond Scared Straight. I'm specific this time because they're both worth a YouTube. Just hope the father doesn't get a hold of the latter one, I'd never hear the end of it. Anyway, once the Nerds business was seen to, 10:45 arrived and the last of the fun guys were swallowed. To the casino, quick, before they kick in.

Practically the minute we sat down - "Cocktails?!". The Budweisers and whisky did flow, the waitresses were genuinely drowning us in that stuff that cow Keira Knightley believes turns all men into complete scoundrels. As our aphrodisiacs began to take flight, I was forgetting about the gambling I was doing and just getting more and more and more fucked up. Mama Sheba headed to the room a tad early, as I had accumulated five unfinished drinks, now including Corona. This was all free too.

Off to Am Pm for a $5 20 pack of Marlboro and a few Coors. On the way back to the room I also bought a 20oz Jagerbomb with extra Jager. The next five hours were spent getting absolutely destroyed like everyone, and I mean everyone, else in Vegas. There was music, dancing, a hot tub that was neglected, slow dancing, very deep conversations and it all added up to one amazing night, until 8am.

"The more I feel is the more that I need it, the more I need is the less I believe it"

In a bit.