NOTE: If you are easily offended by offensive things then please go somewhere else. I suggest pbskids.org or barbie.com, you wuss!


SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE TO LISTEN TO MY HILARIOUS AND WILDLY OFFENSIVE PODCAST!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Captain Book VS Dr. Borderz - The REMATCH ...

... the thrilling CONTINUATION of the epic Captain Book Saga (part 4 in a planned 12-part series) is happening tomorrow afternoon at the Arden mall Barnes and Noble kids section at 2pm. There will be stories, activities, loudness, giveaways, snacks, and Captain Book will appear LIVE and will take pictures with all the kids ...


... that is, he'll take pictures with the kids IF he survives another epic fight against his evil and sinister (and deathly handsome) arch-rival!


In tomorrow's installment, the evil and sinister Dr. Borderz will ONCE AGAIN escape from bad guy jail and attack storytime in search of storyteller Mr. Steve's precious treasure box. Captain Book and Dr. Borderz will have another epic confrontation except THIS TIME the evil and sinister Dr. Borderz will somehow be impervious to booing (SHOCK!!!) and he will uncover Captain Book's secret weakness (HORROR!!!). Now, I can't reveal what Captain Book's secret weakness is but I can tell you it has to do with caged birds and a certain deceased young boy.


Tomorrow Dr. Borderz will LITERALLY have Captain Book sucking his thumb and crying like a little baby in a massive storytime that somehow features signing muppets, rapper Nelly, the rejuvenating powers of 80's wrestler Hulk Hogan AND a dancing robot that speaks french. Seriously. I'm totally serious.




I know I said this last month, but I am very nervous about tomorrow's big storytime. Last time we had about 70 (!!!) people, kids and adults, packed shoulder to shoulder in my department and even peeking over the teen section trying to watch our big fight. And tomorrow is even BIGGER than last month's show. It's sillier, stranger, and its got a massive cast of FOUR (including our store manager and a top secret "ringer" hidden in the audience), twice as much people as there was last time. The script is twice as big, too, and requires actual memorization of lines like back last century when I was an actor of some sorts.


Tomorrow's gonna be big. Wish me luck. The video should be up sometime this sunday.




Speaking of me being an act-oar, when I was in Arizona I found a dusty old cd with photos from the world premiere stage production of Pulp Fiction, which I was a part of way back in my Arizona life.


Gather 'round, youngins. It's story time ...


This was back in 1998. I was about to turn 21 and I couldn't wait. I had just done the part of Chezwick in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at a small theater in Scottsdale and had gotten good reviews. I then played Templeton in a kids version of Charlotte's Web. It was a bit humiliating being one of two adults in a cast of children but that play marked my first and (probably/sadly) LAST solo singing performance ever on a stage. I was all set to move on to a bit part in the musical Sweeney Todd but I gave that up after getting the chance to play multiple parts in Pulp.


I mean, sure Sweeney is one of my top five dream plays to do (and how awesome would I be as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar) but getting the chance to do Tarantino comes once (or in my case twice - I was in the stage version of Reservoir Dogs about a year later) in a lifetime.


I look at these pictures of people and faces I once called friends almost ten years ago. I've never seemed younger and I've never felt older.


If that makes any sense.


Here they are ...
























I followed up Pulp and Dogs with an intensely physically demanding part in the world premiere stage production of Fight Club. My director friend Mr. Michael had a thing for plays based on movies, in case you couldn't tell. In fact, there was talk of following Fight with a stage version of the underrated movie Suicide Kings. I was going to be Ira. That would have been the bull's balls.


The review of Fight says that I was "totally invested and, though awkward in first act pacing, [I] embrace [my] role with the kind of commitment necessary to pull of the impossible."


That's pretty much the story of my life.


Next month's Captain Book story time features my friend Marisa as the evil Miss Know-It-All. Awesome stuff. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Random Arizona Pictures ...































... and here's a picture of the flowers that the Natomas store sent me as a goodwill "Sorry we ruined a major event of yours and cost your store hundreds of dollars of sales" gesture. I guess if you're going to steal an author signing and cause numerous angry customers to yell and complain that they're never going to shop here again, the polite thing to do is to send that store flowers and a cheesecake. That should be included in Emily Post's next book.


Note the totally indiscreet price tag that still remains:


Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Few Random Birthday Thoughts Before A Night On The Road ...

... the plan is to leave by six tonight. The kids will knock out and we'll drive the whole night through and arrive in Phoenix sometime tomorrow morning. Natasha at one point was a semiprofessional truck driver (lo-o-o-o-ong story) so she'll be doing the majority of the driving. To prepare for this, she stayed up all night. All. Freaking. Night. Hell, she even went to the 24 hour Wal-Mart at like 3am to get me a birthday present while Isabela and Emerald and I slept. I finally sent her to bed at around 6:30am when I woke up with Emerald to get her fed and off to school. She woke up a few hours later and we went shopping for a few things here and there. And now we're back.


Today's Part Two of my three part birthday. Today I turn thirty. Wow. Natasha's sleeping again and Bela and I are next door. Funny how a year and a half old little girl can't stand still for Go Diego Go or Backyardigans but Avatar's on and she watching it like her life depends on it. That's crazy. I hate Avatar.


Today's my birthday. I can't get over that. It's my goddamned birthday. I'm thirty. I'm fucking thirty. I never pictured how I would be at thirty because, honestly, I figured I'd be dead by now. I thought, well, the world's going to end in 2000 and if it doesn't then I;ll just be killed for my controversial religious beliefs at age 27 like all the other geniuses. I honestly thought that. So you can imagine how morbidly strange today feels.


This is how thirty feels ...




It's an interesting feeling.


THIS is what I've gotten for my birthday so far:
Natasha got me some awesome cds including the new Modest Mouse, Quinn got me a $10 iTunes gift certificate, Lele got me a kissing hand, my work gave me a typical work card, Marisa gave me $100 (the majority of which we spent at Hoppy's) and Miss Kiki gave me flowers and some sort of cheesecake.


Wow. Thanks everybody.




My parents, being my parents, are worried about our drive. They're worried that we're going to fall asleep or get into some sort of accident. My dad, I think, being the hardcore mexican that he is, is worried about a woman driving. My mom, being my mom, is worried we're going to die a horrid, horrible death. My parents worry a lot. They always expect the worst in any situation and their worriness has succeeded in getting me a bit spooked.


So we've had some talks about getting the massive amount of Tecate and Henry Weinhardt's we have at home and maybe bringing a few for me. But we probably won't do that in hindsight.


You don't want to screw around with tent city, man. That shit's harsh.




Anyway, tonight we hit the mattresses. It should be fun. No need to worry. Not like we haven't done this trip before. I'll end up sleeping for about half of the drive and Natasha will OWN the drive like the hardcore chick she is. Natasha will wake me up if she needs someone to talk to and i'll end up getting about three or four "second wind" moments and, hell, I might even end up doing a bit of driving. It's all exciting stuff. Gonna be a blast. I've burned like three cds in 24 hours. We're gonna rock our way to the valley of the sun. Awesome.


This might sound extremely pathetic but I'm going to miss Marisa. I've been giving her rides to work most every morning and I've come to cherish having an ear to hear my sad war stories in the morning. Plus she sometimes buys me Burger King Heart Attack sandwiches, so that's a major plus right there.


But I'm really excited to see Ken-dar, my Arizona Marisa. She called me last night right after I talked to Marisa about Natomas for a half hour. I miss Kendra so much and I can't wait to see her again and somehow reconnect with Phoenix. I miss so much about that place that it makes me fucking sick.


The following is my Arizona to do list. It's 8 1/2 things, four of which have to do with food:


-coffee on Mill Avenue

-Peter Piper Pizza

-Castles & Coasters

-Sonic

-Atomic Comics

-Big Juan

-Ren Fair

-Galindo family steaks

(maybe the amazing Phoenix Zoo)


It's incredible that a person so skinny could have a list so filled with food.


There's also a few other things that aren't on my list. I want to stay up late drinking and bullshitting with my brother. I want to take pictures of The Pigeon puppet from storytime at various Arizona landmarks. I want to get a tattoo. I want to see old friends. And some various other things, a few of them personal.




I gotta go. I need to take a shower, pack some more, burn another cd, pick up the girls, wake up the wife, and hit the road.


Wish me luck. I'll be back next week with awesome pictures.

The RETURN Of Birthday Cat ...



HOORAY! Birthday Cat RETURNS once again to wish Steve a very happy 30th birthday and to leave fucking fur everywhere! HOORAY Steve and hip hip HOORAY to Birthday Cat!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hazy Memories From Part One ...

... for starters, just in case any one's wondering, an hour of violent mad sweaty monkey sex does NOT cure a raging hangover. But it's worth a try.


I am happily finished with Part One of my three part 30th birthday party. The Hoppy's drinking bash wasn't the big bash I was hoping for. Basically it was just me, my wife, the kids, Marisa, Gwen and Megan. Not a ton of people but people DID show up, more people than Scott's failed Hoppy's attempt and 200% more people than Amanda's going away Hoppy's bash. We had fun and talked mucho shit about coworkers and Natomas and Miss Kiki and my wife and I drank two whole pitchers of beer by ourselves (although my brain pretty much absorbed the majority of it) and a good time was had by all.


My favorite part of part one was without a doubt my birthday storytime. WOW! I had 31 kids show up. There were new kids and old school regulars and I even had some kids whose parents yanked them out of school so they could wish me a happy birthday. My manager Julia overdid herself and set up massive decorations and gave me a whopping shitload of stuff to give away to the kids. Our community relations person Laini got me a huge cake and sparkling cider and ice cream. It was a super huge amazing birthday bash.


I got two gifts from my kids. Lele gave me a kissing hand like the book. She kissed my hand and told her that her kissing hand would stay with me forever. How heartbreaking is that? And I am happy to say that FINALLY after two years of struggling and scheming I have successfully tricked a kid into getting me an iTunes gift certificate. Thank you Quinn.


Here are some pictures ...








Part two begins tomorrow. We're leaving sometime tomorrow, too. Originally we were going to leave sometime after Emerald got out of school but we might just leave tomorrow morning or afternoon. I don't know. All I know is I'm turning 30 and right now, with my awesome family and my darling daughters and my cool friends and my heartbreaking storytime kids and the nasty sex with my incredibly hot wife, things are looking pretty damn good.




For those of you who aren't in the know, there's some serious drama going down between myself and my apparent "rivals" (with pathetic finger quotes) at a certain other Barnes and Noble. Now's not the best time to relay all the juicy catscratching details. Let's just say that it involves Steve getting screwed over and now heads are currently rolling. I'm not in any way in trouble but the people who ARE in trouble might just end up gunning for me when the smoke clears.


So I'm not going on vacation. I'm "hitting the mattresses" just like in The Godfather.


Wish me luck. Part Two starts tomorrow.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Part One Of Steve's Three Part 30th Birthday Celebration ...



... so I turn 30 this Thursday.


To celebrate my 30th birthday, I have devised a three part birthday celebration for myself. Three parts. And part one starts tomorrow.



PART ONE:
a very special "Mr. Steve's Birthday" storytime where the kids and I have cake and ice cream and we read my favorite stories and everybody gets a very special "Mr. Steve Bag" as a special gift. I give out Mr. Steve Bags filled with candy and stickers and toys. It's my own little homage to Arizona and tv's Wallace and Ladmo Show. Usually I only give out one, maybe two. Tomorrow I'm going to be giving away a bag to every kid who shows up PLUS I've written and illustrated an eight page picture book based on my life called THE STEVE STORY that i'll be premiering at my birthday storytime and that's awesome.


And after work, at around 5:30 or so, we're having an old school Gwen Lobo-style Hoppy's get-together. We're going to hang out and drink and eat crappy food and bullshit and make fun of Scott and its going to be awesome. HOPPY'S!!! HELL YEAH! Any one and everyone's invited so please come on down and get your drink on with me and my fam.


It's the Hoppy's on Folsom. Want directions? Well, you're already on the damn internet. Find it yourself.



PART TWO:
my REAL birthday this Thursday. It will mainly be me and Natasha together. Low key and very personal. No idea what's in store for part two but whatever it is it'll be nice and cool and mellow, a nice soft ease into my thirties. Maybe we'll go to a comic book store. Maybe I'll drink all day. Maybe we'll see a movie. Maybe I'll get some dirty rough monkey sex. I'm really not sure.


And hopefully, if my parents come through with the money they promised us, sometime on Thursday we'll pack up the kids and drive the 10-12 hour drive from Sacramento, California to Phoenix, Arizona. It's a bitchwhore of a drive. Last time we did the drive I spent most of it either asleep or chatting up my wife. It's a long, tiring bunch of nothing. But I'm excited.



PART THREE:
this weekend in Phoenix. Sunday will be spent at the Arizona Renaissance Festival. My mom's paying. Emerald is going to shit herself sore when she sees the knights and the princesses and everything there. Man, it's going to be the balls. I can't wait to take her.


No idea what my wife has planned for Saturday. I hope it involves hooking up with old friends. I miss Michelle and Ken-dar and all my old friends from catholic school and Deer Valley High School. Shit, I wouldn't mind it to hang out with a Bell sister or two. I miss my friends, whatever friends I have left, and I so desperately want to be able to reconnect with that part of me that still is Arizona.


I don't know if part three is going to happen. Part three is dependant on my parents and ... well, YOU know. So keep your fingers crossed that this vacation of mine actually takes place, because jesus fucking christ have I ever deserved it.


This is a picture of my books. Most people who know me know that I'm always reading something or writing in something. When I was in Arizona I always kept a journal (it's not a diary because I have a cock) but the move to Cali plus various bitchy ex-girlfriends meant that all my Arizona journals are gone with the wind. I vowed to keep, literally KEEP, whatever journals I wrote in while living in California.


This picture is the only picture in existence of all five of my journals. I've kept them from March 2002 to now. And I'm almost done with book five. I've just got eight more pages to go. It's like my own personal, drunken, perverted life story and I am deeply proud of them all. Whatever new book I'm writing in, I carry it everywhere and write in it constantly. Even at work, I'm jotting my life down. It's MY story just for ME and the only people allowed to read them are me and my wife. And maybe Marisa because I am so deeply in love with her.


I think I might have to buy book six in Arizona. Isn't that incredible? Book six! Five years!


Wow. I'm getting older.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Workplace Manic Depression ...



... some days I'll have a 30+ children storytime and I'll get props from various managers and I'll be handselling like crazy and I'll be spending my breaks with Marisa and talking with her and working on Captain Book and helping hot moms and cool people and I'll spend most of my day straightening the awesome books in my awesome department.


Those are the good days.




And somedays there'll be no one in the store but rednecks waisting time and massive families of minorities that smell funny and old people will come in and give me dirty looks and customers will cuss me out and yell at me because we don't have cds and bums will come in and harass the customers that aren't stealing Zane books and Scott will be loud and think everything he says is "hilarious" and share it out loud with everyone within earshot and random yuppie customers will say no to my help but track down the nearest white bookseller to help them in my section and teenage wannabe thugs will be reading sex books and cussing in my section and stupid clueless idiots will be ranting and raving about The Secret and the managers won't care about all the hard work that I do or the massive audience that I had at storytime and they won't give a damn that I'm stuck covering breaks all day when I should be doing my goddamn job.


And I believe that tomorrow I have to cover all the cashier and customer service breaks. And our store has TWO different cash wrap areas, so covering customer service will take ALL of my shift. I'll spend maybe 45 minutes in my department and spend the rest of my eight hour shift covering breaks even though I have repeatedly been told by the Barnes and Noble district manager Pete Scott and the regional manager Marvin Adams that I am not allowed to.


Those are the days that my stomach eats itself and I repeatedly slam my knuckles into walls.


Those are bad days. And they happen all the time.




I apparently have to work seven straight days in a row in order to earn my nine day vacation.


I just finished day four.


Three more days left.



Monday, March 12, 2007

VIDEO: Captain Book Goes Face-To-Face With The Evil And Sinister Dr. Borderz ...



... I have returned.


No I do not have my computer back. We're still crossing our fingers on that one. No, once again I have come from next door to log on to my stepmom's computer to share with all of you another incredible video. You might remember January's video featuring the evil and sinister Dr. Borderz taking over storytime and capturing Captian Book:





Well, now there's video that was uploaded onto YouTube just yesterday that shows the long-awaited one on one battle between bookstore superhero Captain Book and evil and sinister super villain Dr. Borderz.


It's an action packed video in two parts. The first is the set up and the second is the action. Thanks again to "nusilver" Michael Burns for taking this awesome footage.


I hope you enjoy it ...





The video doesn't fully capture how many people were there or how incredibly LOUD it was on the stage. There were like 70 people, adults ad children, all shoulder to shoulder and loud as hell and you could hardly hear yourself over the constant talking that everybody was doing. Plus I almost passed out while wearing that damn mask. But it was worth it. It was fun and silly and a HUGE success and I can't wait for the REMATCH at the end of this month!


Awesome!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Captain Book VS The Evil And Sinister Dr. Borderz ...

... I know I said I wasn't going to post in a while, but I literally just got these kick ass pictures a few hours ago and I just couldn't wait to post them here for all y'all to see.


So check them out, it's the ultimate battle between good and evil, Captain Book versus the evil and sinister Dr. Borderz battle face-to-face in front of a 70+ audience storytime ...