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


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Captain Book AND Dr. Borderz VS Miss Lulu ...

... Mr Steve welcomes a special guest to storytime. Her name is Miss Lulu and she's a storyteller from a new Barnes and Noble nearby. She has a ukulele and she talks to the kids like they're idiots. Steve suspects she's a new villain and she makes him sing with her. But her mind control ukulele turns Steve into a zombie and he's sent to the back to steal peanut butter cookies from the snack machine. Captain Book tries to stop her but is frozen. Clifford the Big Red Dog tries to defeat her next and also gets frozen. Miss Lulu easily defeats both heroes and claims to be the greatest super villain ever, a million times better than that stupid idiot fool loser Dr. Borderz. Then Dr. Borderz strolls in and Lulu makes fun of him. Then, in a shocking plot twist that the kids went nuts for, Dr. Borderz revived Captain Book and together they defeated Miss Lulu. They even shared a hug at the end, during which Borderz affixed a "Kick Me" sign on his back, reverting to his evil ways.

The whole thing was really epic in scope and it had some amazing performances by all of my actors, including the store manager as a frozen Clifford. The 40 kids in attendance really loved it and got a kick out of a temporarily good Dr. Borderz. I did an ad-lib where Bela handed me a panda doll and I threw it at Lulu. It was awesome. With each month our Captain Book adventures get better and bigger and more and more popular. There were even about 35 adults there, many of which saw our big Captain Book adventure at the Harry Potter party and wanted more. Captain Book is blowing up all over the place. It's very exciting.

Marisa literally threatened to kick my ass if I posted pictures of her in her Miss Lulu costume singing with her ukulele. But she's moving, so screw her.

Bela tries to feed teddy grahams to a frozen Clifford ...

Next month I pick the winner (or winners) of the "Create a Villain" contest. I will pick a villain from our box of well over 50 different villain ideas and that villain (or villains) will square off against Captain Book. Very exciting stuff. Clearly 2007 is the Year of Captain Book!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

545 ...

... I'm not done yet. Okay? I'm on page 545 which is pretty damn good for a father of two but crap when you consider the fact that pretty much everybody at work finished the damn thing last weekend in a day or two. I'm bringing up the rear. I know I said that I wanted to spend my mini-vacation just laying down on the couch reading Harry Potter but that didn't quite happen. I managed to read about 220 pages today which is roughly about twice what I've been averaging a day. Pretty good but, as I said before, I'm no Marisa. AND SPEAKING OF, this saturday Marisa finally premieres as super villain Miss Lulu (which I must vehemently state is in no way a thinly veiled charicature of a nearby Barnes and Noble's storyteller) a-a-a-and one of Captain Book's enemies will actually end up HELPING him fight off Miss Lulu in a shocking and well written plot twist that nobody will see coming (except for those people in the audience who have graduated from third grade) and everybody should come check it out because it's the biggest and best Captain Book adventure yet. That's this saturday at 2:00pm in the children's section of the Barnes and Noble by Arden mall, by the way.

I WOULD post pictures of the midnight magic party right about now BU-U-U-U-T nobody at work bothered to take five measely second to ... awww fuck, you know the story.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Other Exciting Pigeon Titles ...

... and NO I have NOT read the new Harry Potter book yet.

My work didn't buy me one like they usually do after a Midnight Magic Party but yesterday I had one given to me as a gift, thank Wood. I am currently on page 35. My sleep deprivation and my need to take care of my children has made sure that I get almost no reading done.

I can't just stay up reading it. I'm not Marisa.

America's Newest Best-Selling Children's Book ...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Post # 700: Potter Drunk ...

... I was on stage in my children's department from 9pm last night to about 1:30am this morning doing trivia and games and activities and giving out free prizes to 300 to 400 screaming crackhead children, many of whom treated me like crap and deserved to be beaten. The six activity tables set up throughout the store, my idea by the way (although I have yet to be given any credit by anyone who is not Marisa or my wife), succeeded in quelling the bottlenecking in kids that troubled us last time for book six. I probably left the store around 2:40 or 2:50am. It was a big success. I'm proud of everything. I do have one beef, though, one little thing that upset me. I talked to the store manager and another manager early in the night, even before I clocked in to work, because I wanted to make sure that someone would take a few pictures of me in kids doing my thing and especially take a few pictures of my big Captain Book adventure at 11pm. The people that I talked to were incredibly stressed out and way too busy to pay attention to me and blew me off by saying that there were a ton of people with cameras at work and that somebody would take pictures of me in kids. But nobody did. Yes there were a ton of employees with cameras and even managers with cameras but not a single picture was taken of me busting my ass in kids. In fact, nobody even bothered to go into the kids section to see how I was doing, let alone take any pictures. I didn't bring it up because of how tired I was and besides everybody was stressed out and pissed off and me trying to tell people how I wanted recognition would have come across wrong and I would have seemed like a crybaby (although I did cry in my car about it on the way home). The actual literal pictures not being taken, that really doesn't bother me. I'm not mad about pictures. It's what the pictures, or lack thereof, represents that really bothered me, what that situation stood for. I mean, nobody bothered to take a single picture of me all night, including the big Captain Book adventure that was the highlight of my night's events which drew 300-400 people clapping and cheering. What does that tell you about my work and about how I'm seen that nobody bothered to take even one picture of me. Whatever that stands for, that's what I'm upset about. I met an old woman outside the store who complimented me about my hard work and agreed to e-mail my wife the pictures she took. That's pathetic. I'd be more angry about that if it wasn't for my current state of extreme Potter drunkenness. I'm so sleep deprived from the party last night and then waking up this morning and taking care of the kids and then going to work and having a huge storytime that I'm literally drunk. That's how tired I am, I've gotten so little sleep that I'm totally sleep drunk. Potter drunk. It's horrible, being drunk without the drinking. It's horrible. But I'm sitting here in a lonely house eating food and drinking tall boys and watching the movie Crumb and waiting to be able to sleep. Once I sleep, my vacation begins. I'm going to sit down on the couch and sleep until friday. It's going to be great. I can't wait.

I was also on the news on friday night, me and Emerald. It's awesome.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Calm Before The Storm ...

... this is me not thinking about it, the elephant in the bookstore that will soon make my life crazy. This is me drinking coffee and listening to my iPod and eating chips and resting my neck and taking a ton of naps. This is me not working today so that I can properly rest my seriously sprained neck and the arms I injured yesterday carrying a box so heavily filled with Harry Potter activity papers that I had no business lugging them from Kinko's to my work. This is me taking it easy so that I can survive tomorrow. This is me sleeping in until 11am with my bum neck and then taking a nap around 1pm after an amazing round of marital sex, which is ten times kinkier than all that nervous fumbling that you single people are doing. This is me relaxing and drinking coffee and watching cartoons with the kids and taking them to the river to get some fresh air and chillax and get our minds off things.

The calm before the storm.

This is me not thinking.

This is me not thinking about tomorrow. This is me not thinking about the crowds. This is me not thinking about the parking and the people and the volume and the craziness. This is me not thinking about the 1,200 people we estimate to be heading to our store tomorrow night. This is me not thinking about tomorrow when I'll be on stage in front of 500-800 people for three to four hours straight. This is me not thinking about all the things that could go wrong when there's 1,200 people in a small bookstore until 2am. This is me not thinking about doing a Captain Book adventure in front of an audience of 900 people tomorrow. This is me not thinking about being nervous. This is me not thinking about all the things I still have to do before I take the stage at 9pm tomorrow.

This is me not thinking about the midnight magic party tomorrow. MY midnight magic party tomorrow, the one that I designed, I thought up, the one that I made in my crazy manic head. In order to set our store apart from all the other stores in the area with money and a bigger store area to play with, I designed our store's party to have an individual theme. We will have a storewide scavenger hunt. When you first arrive you get sorted into a house and you get a necklace that has your house and a stamp that corresponds with when you get to be in line. The necklace also has six boxes to match the six different activity tables scattered throughout the store. There's potion making, fortune telling with the craziest tarot cards ever made, free strange fortunes, games, wand making, house badge making, photo taking, and a table with over 20 different Harry Potter activities. Each table has something free to give away, but if you get all the boxes stamped on your card you get something else free. And I'll be in kids all night giving away a ton of free stuff. And the activity tables will be closing down at 11:00pm so that our people can take their lunches, which means that everybody will have my undivided attention for my Captain Book adventure.

Click here for an awesome blog post with some incredible Harry Potter wizard rock that I've already used to fill my iPod for tomorrow (CPR, baby)

Tomorrow's the day. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Just Me And Dora ...

... my wife is at Gwen's house hanging out. I put Emerald to bed easy but little Bela just wouldn't go to bed, wouldn't listen to me, wouldn't sit still, and DEMANDED I put on Dora, then didn't watch a single second, just ran around and cried and ordered me around. I'm here all alone, I'm tired and lonely and my neck hurts like fucking hell and I want nothing more than to go to bed because I've been up since about 5:30 am. But it's past 11:00 pm and all the baby's doing is crying for Natasha or crying for me to get the hell away from her.

So I put her in her crib. And she's crying worse than before. She's been literally crying for about a half hour, just screaming "BOOBIE" and "MOMMY PWEASH!" over and over again in that death font she uses when she's forcefully put in her crib. And being a responsible parent, all I can do is sit here in front of the computer and wait for her to be done crying her super baby freak out cry. I feel like the worst father in the world right now. And my neck is screaming in pain. And I want nothing more than to just go to bed and try and rest this dead neck of mine before the Harry Potter party. But, hey, there's no rest for the mexican, is there?

It's just me all alone with Dora the Explorer. The whore.

Do's and Don't make me feel better, though. They always do.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Big Him Hug ...

... today at the Kinkos by my work I ran into an old friend - slash - nemesis of mine. Ricky, the legendary "Big Him" that I've been writing about since the first posts in this blog all the way back in 2002. I was mentioning him in the first two or three posts on this blog. To put that in perspective, this is currently post #696. So Ricky and I go way back. I'm talking back when I was waking up at 5am every morning, doing an eight hour shelving shift at my new bookstore, coming home at 3pm, sleeping for three or four hours, waking up, showering, going out with my brother and our gang and drinking and smoking until 2am, somehow drunk driving back home, staying up playing video games and talking shit, then passing out and starting the whole ball rolling again. I had all this youthful strength and unchecked anger and I used it to drink and fuck and party my ass off through 2000-2002 in Phoenix, then arriving here and closing the bar every night. I didn't care about anyone else but me and I drinked like I wanted to die, which probably wasn't far off. Ricky, the "Big Him", and I became involved in a nasty piece of drama regarding a woman that still haunts me to this day. A few people know about it, friends of mine and old friends and my wife and hazily remembered friends who have long since passed. And longtime readers of my blog. However, for those of you who don't know what the fuck I'm talking about when I say The Big Him, I have crazily compiled an exhaustive list of links to blog posts of mine from 2002-2003 that pretty much chronicles the Big Him/Little Her Saga. Here you are ...


Reading these posts back as I have, it pains me. I was such a different person back then. I was angry and immature and drunk and lonely. I wasn't in love as much as I wanted someone to be in love with me. It's easy to date a married person. If you're dating a single person you have to be charming and witty and well off and mature and funny and attractive and smart. You have to be better than every other single guy in the world. If you're dating a married person, all you have to do is be better than one person: the significant other. Collyne didn't want to be with me. If she did, then why did she break up with me five times? She just wanted to be with someone other than her husband and I was lonely and drunk, so I was suckered into this strange little triangle that broke my heart repeatedly and cost me a shitload of friends. Ricky was angry at me. Fuck, he had every right to be. I shouldn't have done what I did. I just wished that at the time he would have realized that it was less my fault as it was hers, that I was the one being dragged into this pathetic drama shit storm. I broke up a marriage, yes. That's true. But would it have stayed normal if I hadn't fucked it up? No. It would have been somebody else and some other situation and she would have found somebody else's heart to break. I felt that I was used and to this day I still do. Yeah. Big drama. That's so not me now. Now I'm a family man with my head tightly screwed on to my shoulders. I read to kids and I'm a daddy and I watch the same damn Dora cartoons over and over again as I cook dinner for my two amazing daughters. To think that I was so self-destructive and drunk and angry and depressed and suicidal, a million times away from the happy person I am now. I have such a deep, shameful dark side that I hide from everybody. God, I just wish that I could go back and track down that leather jacket-wearing drunken 26-year-old and tell him to stop trying to kill himself and start living. But that's impossible. Ricky and I had a violent parting of the sensory. There were some heated words, a lot of them less than pleasant. But reading the posts over, there is one MAJOR thing that is lost in the mix. Ricky was a near and dear friend of mine. That doesn't come across in the posts. We would drink and party and the next day at work I'd get made fun of by our big bitchy receiving manager Q because I'd have a neck covered with hickeys. What I never told anyone was that half were from Her and half were from Him. He was in love with me. I forget that. He loved me as much as Collyne said she loved me. He was always there for me. When Debby broke my heart and left me alone in Sacramento, Ricky was there to pull me out of my suicidal pit when even my own family wouldn't bother to help me. As much as I was frightened by the memory of him coming to my work and trying to kick my ass and threatening to kill me, I really do owe him a lot. Before our drama triangle burned a ton of bridges, he was one of my closest friends and he loved me and I miss that.

We hadn't talked since sometime around 2003. Then this afternoon after sad storytime I walked into the Kinko's to make copies for our big Harry Potter party and I saw him. Ricky. Apparently he's been working there for about three months and in all the time I've been making Captain Book trading cards our paths had somehow never crossed. God. Seeing him was like a pleasant punch to the stomach if that's possible, the last thing I expected. Talking to him, putting my order in, and then walking back to work, I was nervous and frightened and scarred and excited and stressed out to the max, not the right frame of mind to be in when my sprained neck is killing me. I cranked up System of a Down on my iPod and punched every steel post I walked past with full force. My middle finger on my right hand is still dark purple and swollen. I worried that the fit was going to hit the shan again, that the drama was going to come back, except this time Q wasn't there to step in and break up the fight. At 3:15 I told my manager that I wanted to go to Hot Topic and look for Potter stuff. That was true. I also wanted air and some time by myself to think. On my way back to the store I made a conscious decision to walk around the back of Kinko's. And, in typical Steve luck, guess who was having his last break? Yeah. We talked. It was frighteningly easy to slink back into friend mode. We talked about being fathers and Dora the explorer and spanish and Harry Potter. He was more into Harry Potter than I thought. We talked about who we thought were going to die. Yeah, Harry's totally dying. I don't care what my brother thinks. I said the same thing about Neo. If he's the chosen one, then he has to die.

And I was the one who told him that one of these days we should go out for a beer. And at the end we shook hands and he gave me a hug. It felt good. I feel like such a massive weight is lifted, like some big huge invisible plotline has just come full circle. I'm feeling good.

I know this has been an epic, heavy ass post, so to clean the pallet here's some wack ass youtube videos ...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Passing Out ...

... have you ever had sex so hard and so rough that you almost passed out afterwards?

Hi. How are you doing?

My life is pretty good right now. Well, apart from my hideous death neck, everything is like fuckin' Ozzie and Harriet around here. No arguing any more, food to eat on a regular basis, the kids loving all over me, all past drama discussed, coffee that's plentiful, things on the up and up with my parents, and a ton of nasty hardcore fucking with my sexy, busty, nasty, much younger wife. Yup. Apart from my sprained neck, things are pretty damn good for me right now.

Let's just hope I survive my hell week. Wish me luck. Seriously. I'm gonna need it.

Nonstop, Flat Out Burn ...

... I've had quite a week. I had almost 100 people show up for my biggest storytime ever, I finished all my plans for our store's big Midnight Magic Party (which I completely designed myself), I had two more very big and exhausting storytimes, I had a very loud and very successful Harry Potter club meeting (which usually takes me all day to set up), I had two storytime assemblies in front of over 500 kids at Howe Avenue Elementary School and got filmed for Channel 10 News, and I've busted my ass at work, working six days a week running around doing the job of two or three employees all by myself, the sweat literally dripping down my neck and forehead as I lift and run and shelve and answer phones and chase away bums and get yelled at by angry yuppies who want to know where that new Harry Potter book is at.

Now it's just a few days away from our big Harry Potter party and I'm in screaming pain. Literally.

Apparently I sprained my neck somewhere during all the ass kicking I've been doing. It hurts like hell. It hurts so much that I am for the first time in my life entering the Vicodin train. That's how much I'm in pain with every step. I'm having a hard time moving my neck from side to side without a sharp stabbing pain kicking my ass and making me want to scream. I'm not the type of guy who usually gets injured physically. My injuries are usually mentally and emotionally, not physically. I'm having a hard time standing up. And walking. And sitting down. And pretty much doing anything. It's forcing me to slow down, which is something I don't usually do. I move fast, work fast, talk fast, type fast. Now my neck is screaming at me to take it easy but the rest of me is telling my neck to shut its damn face up.

But there's no rest for the wicked and there's no rest for the Reverend. I have two days off. These two days are being spent resting and taking pills and using a heating pad and taking naps and trying to get this neck feeling better because after today it's going to be a hardcore balls out nonstop flat out burn through the week, sweating like crazy and tearing my neck a new one and busting my ass trying to get this whole store ready for friday night, when my dream Harry Potter party is going to entertain about a thousand customers whether we're ready or not.

Hopefully I'll survive this week at work without screaming or bloodying my knuckles or crying.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Format For Free ...

... Arizona band The Format, one of my favorite bands ever, are offering their entire sophomore album absolutely free to download for anyone who signs up to their mailing list. It's an amazing album. They go from their first album, an honest and youthful rocking album, to numerous internet releases and eps and whatnots, then on to their second full length album Dog Problems, which rocks like a modern day uplifting breakup hipster Queen album, if you can get your mind around that.

It's this amazing follow up album that is celebrating its one year anniversary by offering itself totally free until this tuesday, so be sure to snatch this baby up while you still can.

Just type your e-mail in the box and you're ready to rock. Go for it. It's a really sweet album. Makes me miss the Arizona heat.

Here's some other songs from The Format to wet your whistle ...

The Lottery Song

Tune Out

A Save Situation: I grew up in Glendale and I went to high school there but I went off to college in Tempe. It's only an hour and a half away but for someone without a car like myself if felt like a lifetime. This song makes me want to move back to Arizona more than anything else in the entire world. On my iPod I call it "The Glendale Song." It's mentions of Glendale and Tempe in the same verse literally brings back so many memories that at times it can make me cry.

Pick Me Up (acoustic)


1,000 Umbrellas

Thursday, July 12, 2007

No Rest For The Reverend (part 2) ...

... the midnight showing of the new Harry Potter movie was a pretty big success for me. The manager of the movie theater jumped me when we were being let in a half hour early and asked me as a personal favor if I could stand up in front of the two theaters they had doing the midnight showing and have me do Harry Potter trivia and give away stuff to the sold out theaters. Obviously I jumped at the occasion. I was loud, crazy, wild and I got my wife to help me, which was the first time I ever got Natasha's help in doing any sort of storytime stuff. I was wild. I had everybody laughing and screaming and talking about how much they loved me. And I actually got 300+ people to scream "Julia, Steve Needs A Raise" in front of Julia. How awesome is that? I'm really proud of myself, being crazy Steve in front of two massive sold out movie theaters. I have that rock star feeling like mental teflon that I usually get when I'm in front of a major crowd. I've been getting that feeling a lot lately, what with my 90+ storytime last saturday and my awesome Harry Potter club meeting yesterday and today. Wow, today. Seriously. On my day off I went in to work and traveled to Howe Avenue Elementary School and do two huge storytime assemblies in front of a total of 500 kids and channel ten news. It was crazy awesome fun. Emerald came with me and she even helped me out with the stories. I was on. I was sweating like a pig and I'm totally exhausted right now but I feel like I'm becoming a local celebrity here in Sacramento and I should be on the news next week and that's sweet. And yesterday I actually got some rest. I got home from the Harry Potter club at about 8:45 pm and I sat on the couch to talk to my wife. I ate some food and read the News and Review and talked. The time was 9:15pm. The next thing I knew I was on the bed in my bedroom and Bela was rubbing her face against mine. The next thing I knew after that is waking up in the morning. I got ten hours of sleep. That's awesome. I'm almost caught up with my sleep.

I'm blowing up all over this two bit town. I totally rock ass.

Here's some nice mellow music for your punk ass ...

Beck: Sleeping Bag

Elvis Presley: Heartbreak Hotel

Milton Mapes: Lonesome Town

Honeyspot: Relay

Weezer: Island in the Sun

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

No Rest For The Reverend ...

... I am running wild, running hard, running fast, running dead, running blank, running on fumes, running on empty. I honestly don't know how I'm going to survive to my mini-vacation on the 22nd. For starters, I have been up since 4:30 am this morning and I was at work at 6:50 am for a massive meeting for our store's midnight magic party to celebrate the last Harry Potter book. Then I learned that my big 500+ kids school field trip has been changed, pushed up to this thursday. I had planned on this thursday being my big day off when I could sleep in and rest. but no. I will be going to a local school and doing two big storytimes in front of something like 550 kids. So today I had to deal with that and throw together a big field trip storytime. Then I had to get TODAY'S storytime set up and in very little time as well. And today's storytime was BIG, too, with over 25 kids an 20 adults yelling and screaming and having a ton of fun. I had to spend my entire lunch break getting ready for it. No food. Then I had to cover a break, get more stuff ready for our midnight magic party, handsell, straighten the kids section, shelve yesterday's cart of kids books, shelve five frontlist carts, and get only a stitched together twenty minute break haphazardly taken in three parts. I an exhausted. How I'm going to stay up tonight I have no idea. But our store has finally reached a friendly relationship with the movie theater right next to us. Anyone who wants to go see the midnight showing of the new Harry Potter movie who works at our store will be able to get in for free. the one snag is that we have to be there at exactly 9:00 pm. That's three hours waiting in a theater for a midnight showing of a 138 minute long movie. And do I work tomorrow? Of course I do. There's no rest for the wicked and there's no rest for the Reverend. I have a huge Harry Potter club tomorrow that I usually take all day to get set up. What I should be doing is taking a nap. Note my use of the word should, though. I can't sleep. Instead I'm typing in my damn blog and eating ramen, my first and (probably) only bit of food all day, and re-watching the last Harry Potter movie, my favorite film and my favorite book. Then tomorrow I do the Harry Potter club, then the day after that I have a massive field trip. Then I work on friday and saturday, then it's balls out to our midnight magic party. Our store's party for the fifth book was a joke, just some coloring and me doing trivia and our crm misspelling Harry Potter characters and references. It was pathetic. Our last party for book six was to make up for the last one. It rocked. It was basically me doing stand up comedy in front of 700 people nonstop for about four hours. It was totally crazy and I was a damn rock star. But I was only allowed three people to help me. This year I created a ton of crazy silly activities and I have about twenty five people throughout the store doing my bidding as I'm on stage doing trivia and games and my own crazy stuff. Captain Book will even be making an appearance, battling Dr. Borderz. It's amazing. It's going to be huge. And it's also tiring as all hell. I'm literally running on empty. I honestly don't know how I'm going to survive these next twelve days. There's more, too. Did I mention that I'm cutting my Effexor intake in half and taking iodine pills, sending me into massive mood spirals? And did I mention that I'm having sharp leg pains, the likes of which I haven't felt since I was in elementary school? I woke up one morning during summer and I couldn't feel my legs. I couldn't move them at all, couldn't walk. The doctor told me I had a rare disease I've since forgotten but that it was probably a one time occurrence that I shouldn't worry about. I'm hoping this pain in my leg will go away but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I worry time and time again that one day I'm going to wake up and not feel my leg.

I am so tired and I'm spread the thinnest that I could ever possibly be spread.

But I also wouldn't have it any other way.

I hope the movie's good. I'll let you know. Here's some free Harry Potter music (CPR: concert psyching rock) for your punk ass (and you KNOW Wind Clan be up in dis bitch) ...

Wyrd Sisters: This Is The Night

Magic Works

Harry and the Potters: Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock

Save Ginny Weasley