Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Birthday Haul 2015

The 4th of July 2015 was a momentous occasion in American history! Why's that? Because I turned thirty. Oh and there was some tiny celebration with fireworks I'd never heard of before, must be a regional thing. So how's thirty living up to my expectations? well I never imagined I'd be a blogger who worked for non-profit organizations to pay for my horror movie, board game, and various other addictions. As a child; I probably envisioned myself as a ninja master who lived on the moon and was married to at least 2 or 3 girls from Power Rangers. Such is life, eh? Still; there's always presents, let's talk about those.

Horror movies ahoy!
My brother grabbed a copy of Fortress which is an Aussie title from the 80's where a country classroom is kidnapped by guys in masks only to eventually escape and turn savage on their pursuers. It turned out to be more of a thriller than full on horror but it's short and breezy entertainment. Be forewarned that if you hate the sound of Australian children, you've be clawing at your face about 15 minutes into the film.
As most of my gifts arrived several days after the main event, my mother was nice enough to make sure I had one new item for the night in the form of The Revenge of Frankenstein. Sadly, by the time I got around to watching it, sleep was firmly taking hold so I lost several chunks of story. Probably have to revisit it come Halloween time.
A return trip to the same store we got Frankenstein from yielded a variety of old midnight movie double features for 4 bucks a pop. Technically I bought these myself but it was with a bit of birthday money so let's just chalk em up to my mom again. Only had a chance to watch 2 of flicks so far. The Vampire was a surprisingly unique take on bloodsuckers mixed with drug addiction. Not exactly the sort of thing you'd expect from the 50's. The Earth Dies Screaming was entertaining enough but at a run time of only 62 minutes, it really doesn't have the room to accomplish very much.
Also on the movie front was a blu-ray of Knightriders from my sister and brother-in-law. This was the first George Romero movie I ever liked, mainly because it serves as an endurance test for anyone with good taste. It's about a loony dude named Billy (Ed Harris) who leads a traveling band of motorcycle jousters in the hopes of creating a better community free of many modern problems or as he puts it, he's “Fighting the Dragon!” It's two and a half hours of hippies, biker culture, magic Indians, and impromptu blues harp solos.

They aforementioned group also got me a little Lo Pan Funko Pop. For the longest time I'd ignored these figures because a lot of them just seemed so dumb looking. Recently I learned that there are actually a few badass ones out there. The trick is to avoid the ones that just look like plain old people. Seriously go look at ones based on monsters & ghosts if you don't believe me. Just have your wallet ready when you do.

Going back to gifts from mom, there's my pour over coffee maker. I'd been investigating these for a couple months now as the k-cup machine is just getting tiresome. Currently I'm still experimenting with the proper ratios of water to bean but I must say it's a nice item to have. Yes it takes forever and a day to make a cup of joe this way but it's strong, smooth, and remarkably clean stuff that's damn good at keeping you up. If you ever get your hands on one, do be careful as it is fully possible to brew up a glass of concentrated madness.

Unexploded cow
Somehow I forgot to get this one in the group photo but my sister and brother-in-law got this for me the night before my birthday. I'd heard of it before but never paid much attention to it. Good thing they remedied that mistake cause this is a really solid and fun game. It's silly enough that you can take it to a party but there's still just enough intelligent design to keep everyone interested. This one will probably get a full scale entry sometime soon.

The miscellaneous pile
There's always a few more fleeting items to any birthday. This year that list started with an heaping helping of Indian food. Not such a bad idea to start off a new decade of existence with spicy chicken and goat with plentiful amounts of Naan. It's the healthy half of a day that also included plenty of vodka, bear, and some kinda fruity drink called a lavender collins which in theory was delicious though in practice.....not so much. I blame the bar in question. A hipster hole in downtown Lansing known as the Tavern & Tap which is a confounding name for a joint. I mean you wouldn't call a down home country cooking joint The Kitchen & Stove would ya? Didn't care for the place. Service was slow, drinks poorly mixed, bad pricing, lame music. Pretty much the embodiment of why I drink at home.

Oh but then there's the gift that the whole country give me every year; fireworks! The whole reason we were in Lansing to begin with was the fireworks show that's actually been fairly good for the past few years. Not amazing, but good enough to leave you feeling satisfied. Thanks nation!

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