Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

21 November 2004

A Guy's Tradition and The Great Nacho Debate

Back in the fall of 1997, I became reaquainted with wrestling. As a kid, I loved it. I watched it every Saturday morning. I went to the live events when they rolled into Crapchester. Some of my favorite toys as a kid were the original WWF action figures with the WWF Wrestling Ring. At 28 I'd still play with them now if I still had them. I was a wrestling junkie. I knew it was fake, but I also knew it was entertaining. At some point though, my interest waned. I went years without being a regular to the T.V. Shows or even the live events. I might have watched a few minutes here and there but that was it. Jumping back to 1997, I was stationed in Savannah Georgia in the Air Force. Due to the available space I had in my apartment, I was letting another Airman stay with me. We played Tennis regularly, and after one session we stopped by the weather station we worked at on base. SSgt. Frank was working, and it happened to be a Monday Night. WWF's Monday Night Raw was on the T.V. when we got there. Me and Bobby hung around for a few and me and SSgt. Frank ended up talking about wrestling. Frank was into wrestling and as we talked, he started mentioning all these current wrestlers and then he started mentioning who they used to be...you know, previous gimmicks or characters and such. As I learned that my favorite wrestlers back in the day were still alive and active with different gimmicks and such, my interest in wrestling was peaked once again. Now at this point you are probably asking yourself "what does all this have to do with "Nachos?"" Well as I started watching WWF and shortly there after WCW every Monday Night, a Cialini tradition was born...eating Nachos while watching wrestling every Monday Night. Its been ongoing for 7 plus years now, and has survived a year in Korea, a wacko ex-wife, and now my tradition is being besieged again. From what you ask? From the most powerful, most destructive force known to man...a woman. Apparently my version of "Nachos" doesn't fit my girlfriends description of what Nachos are. Over the course of time, my version of Nachos have undergone several different make overs. It started out with me heating up a jar of Salsa de Con Queso and dipping chips in it. Then I started to get creative. Add a little spice here and there, started adding Jalepeno Juice for hottness and flavor, eventually I started adding in ground turkey and more spices...a work in progress. An artist cannot be rushed when creating his masterpiece. I tried various kinds of Con Queso and chips as well before settling into a solid routine after YEARS of experimentation. The regimentation on my Nacho Night had finally been completed. Now enter the new girlfriend, a woman who I love more than anything. She likes WWE Raw as well, so I inculde her into my Nacho Night Tradition. Sounds like I'm being a hell of a guy right? Well I was. Think it went smoothly? Well it didn't. First off, Nacho Night started too "late". Seems someone couldn't hold out till 9pm when wrestling started. I mean the tradition is eating Nachos when wrestling is actually on T.V., not 2 hours before. Now, the first time I bring the Nachos out...I get a raft of shit. Apparently my concoction did not constitute actual "Nachos" even though they were enjoyed outright. The next week, she comes over with a couple bags full of groceries to take over my nachos/make her own style nachos. Apparently Nachos are supposed to be "layered", or spread out with the cheese dumped on top of them. I guess having a dish of cheese and such in a bowl for dipping isn't considered nachos. I have to disagree though. I mean its cheese, and chips. Meat and jalepenos are involved. Spice, flavor, hottness, its all there. Just because its not spread out on a plate doesn't mean its not nachos. I stand by my tradition, and I will continue to ensure its survival as is. Fellas, stand fast on your own traditions. The Great Nacho Debate isn't much of a debate at all......even if she tries to tell me otherwise! ; )

20 November 2004

The Intricacies of Music

For as long as I can remember, I have always liked various forms of music. As a little kid I remember going to see Alabama with my mother in concert. I loved the song "Mountain Music". As I got older, being an '80's child, I loved '80's music...even the hair bands. Eventually my tastes changed and I started listening to a little rap music, then heavy metal, then back to rap. Musically I was well rounded, but I had a glaring problem...whatever music I didn't like, I dismissed as automatically being worthless. I can remember spending time with my Grandparents when I was young, and they always had country music going. And I mean the country with the extra "twang" involved. Sure every 5th day or so I heard a song I liked, but for the rest of it, it pretty much made me quesy. I can remember playing cards with my parents and Aunt and Uncle on Saturday Nights growing up, and making fun of my parents because they were always listening to the "Oldies". Even as I got married, I used to fight tooth and nail over musical control with my now ex-wife. She liked alternative rock. Green Day, The Cranberries, and stuff like that. Back then, I would have rather stuck my package through a meat grinder then listen to Green Day. As I got older though, I wised up...matured. All of a sudden I realized that just because I do not like Hootie and the Blowfish, it doesn't mean that they suck. As I look back on things now, my earliest days on shift in the Air Force saw me listening to the Oldies station all the time...I loved it. Next thing I know, I have a Hootie CD around 1997. Even today I have grown to be a fan of Green Day and all their songs I hated in 1995, I enjoy today. I'll even take it one step further. I can tolerate and actually like and listen to country music these days due to the fact that my girlfriend likes it (especially the older country) and because she is wonderful (even if she hasn't let me bump Wu-Tang in the sled yet) I kept an open mind and now even by myself, I can be found whipping down the I-nine-oh with a country disk in the CD Player. There really isn't a genera of music that I cannot derive some sort of happiness out of. From the pizza laced songs from my Dago homeland, to bagpipes, to even the rare Euro-Techno beat that I doesn't make me wanna hang myself.I find myself these days the true definition of eclectic. I still love rap music, especially the old school, but at any time you can find me bumping country, swing, big band, jazz, rock, classic rock, heavy metal, punk, classical, anything. And not only does that keep my horizons wide, but it makes it easy to deal with other people who listen to just a certain form a music...chances are I like it too.

Taking all this a step further, if I ever had to make a time line of my life, I could do it musically. I can correlate inportant events whether good or bad in my life to what I was listening too at that exact time...whether a specific song or an album. Whenever I hear "Mountain Music" I can instantly picture myself somewhere around 6 or 8 years old with my mother at the Rochester War Memorial experiencing my first concert. When I hear "Peter Piper" from Run DMC I think of the time I first heard rap music. When I hear Black Sabbath it takes em back to the late '80's when everyone was into Metallica, but I was into original Metal. When I hear Overkill's "Deny The Cross" it takes me back to high school and staring contests against my man B-Shan and how I would change the lines in a desperate attempt to make him laugh before I did, or even B-Shan's funny and sometimes violent impressions of a Metal Band's drum solo. Good times. I can hear songs today were prevolent in my rotation back when my marriage was starting up, when I was leaving for the military, when I was in Tech School, stationed in Georgia, overseas in Korea, back stateside in California. I hear songs and they put those images of times past in my head so clear its as if they were on a brand-y new Hi-Def T.V. right in front of me. It's like a running time line that is always ready to be reviewed in my mind at just the slightest provocation from a "Piano Man" or a "The Bridge is Over". With each day that passes, and I had more life experiences to my agglomeration, music is right there with them. Whether its something from 10 years ago, 15, or just yesterday reminding me how truly happy I am for the first time in years, I can associate music along with it. Maybe you will read this and think "dude is wacked", but we all have our own imbroglio's that require us to find a way to deal with them. Music has become an outlet of sorts, and escape at other times for me and it works. I take solace in my expansive musical tastes, and I'm willing to bet that most of us when prompted can look at music and start to relive days past as well.