Getting Ready For Fall: Beer Review

Well, as most of you know I have recently left South Florida and now I can finally have the seasons back. It has been two years and I know I am wishing them too soon but I can’t help it. As August draws to a close, Fall has begun to creep in the retail, grocery and drug stores. This means only one thing. Drinking beer with a celebratory purpose! Tonight I have purchased the J.W. Dundee’s Beer Pack because J.W. is directly responsible for me being intoxicated many Halloweens in a row. I consider Honey Brown the poor man’s snooty beer that you can find at Kroger for $10 or less. For that, I love J.W.

There she is! The box of hopes, dreams, loss of virginity, and many nights roaming around fields, talking to myself at 4 in the morning, pissed that Balky Bartakomas never returned to his homeland of Meepose. This box made me what I am socially and now I can pay tribute to the cheap lager that separated me from the rednecks at the party.

Ah, look what we have to choose from! Four glorious beers of different taste and alcohol percentage. By the time one beer was downed the chance of the other three getting their fair shake was iffy at best. So tonight, now that I am 29 with a seasoned liver, the other three will get their time in the spot light.

The cell phone camera doesn’t do it justice but the fine print says “perfectly balanced.” True that, because that is the first thing I will say to a cop when asked to perform a sobriety test. “Officer, there is no way I can fail. I drank 9 perfectly balanced beers and if I falter, I am suing.” People don’t drink health drinks to be sick!

I actually have a normal looking hand but I can’t figure out the dimensions of the picture enough to care. “I am not deformed.” (That is for you Kneg) Pale Bock is the beer you drink at the Hayride Drink-Tank to show how festive you are. Unfortunately this beer can also screw you over because it is too heavy to mix well with Jell-O shots and if you drink this to look sophisticated, you may have your card pulled by yarfing on the girlfriend’s overalls while making out in the pumpkin patch. Not that I know.

This beer, Pale Ale, had to be tasted with a careful balance of Birthday cake ice cream. Sophisticated beer calls for sophisticated ice cream. I drank this while finishing my degree from University of Maryland and believe it or not, people respected my choice of beverage. They form opinions about foreign policy, politics, engineering projects and national policy but they are still impressed by the mere fact I did not drink Bud lite for $1.50 but choose to drink a $3.50 Pale Ale. Did that make me rich in personality or wealthy in appearance? Who knows, but that is the loudest voice of nonconformity and they judged me on what I drank.

Ah….the oldie but goody! This beer symbolizes the end of summer and the beginning of fall. This is the beer that I drank in graveyards at night and behind football stadiums after the varsity game. The best times of my life have been forever linked to this beverage. This beer symbolizes old friends reunited and new friends met. I think that is what the fall season is as a whole. You know what? I am going to pay tribute to Honey Brown and the J.W. pack tonight. I know it is August but what the fuck? What can I carve?

Why not? Jack-o-Lanterns where able to scare away evil spirits so why not peppers? I think I will make a tribute to my favorite Fall time beverage from J.W. Dundee the way I want to. I am going to make the most sincere Pep-O-Lantern (Kristiane) anyone has ever seen and try not to cut off my finger. I am carving under the influence!

It is not the greatest but it makes me happy. Shit, that is all that matters anyway. Thank you for the memories J.W. Dundee. I am a better man because of you and I know, here in August, to not let Autumn go by unnoticed. It will be hard to not notice with Matt’s Halloween countdown anyway. We are lucky to be living right here, right now.

I am going to leave you with that. A pepper that can ward off evil spirits. Do you think I am drunk yet?

Mr. Furley, Where Did You Get Those Threads?


It is true that no one can support a neckerchief like Mr. Furley from the 70’s classic, Three’s Company. If I could only find a store that still sells his signature line I would make an earnest effort to resurrect  the style. From his wacky belt buckles to multicolored pants, he made a statement. Even if it was a statement of physical comedy.

Sweet Jesus, look at that! Can you imagine that there was a time when you put on a 100% polyester suit and for the finishing touch, stand in front of a mirror and tie on a neckerchief? I wonder who came up with that? I guess that is what happens when your collar is roughly the 4 ft x 4 ft and ties just would be too cumbersome. No, you would need to tie the necktie directly to the neck.

Grrrppleeebblleeeeshshhhpppss……….Huh? Wha? I’m sorry. I think I just had a mild seizure from the color combination Mr. Furley put together. There is something about pale blue, bright orange, and a crazy purple multicolored tie that sends me into spasms. The producers of TV Land should really warn people to have a bite stick at the ready when watching Three’s Company. See? I just broke my Tom Collins glass! Damn it Mr. Furley!

Ah….how could I stay mad at a guy who looks like that? Plaid vests are very disarming.

R.I.P. Don

Oh If They Could See Us Now

Do you ever wonder what people back in the 1950’s would think if they were able to get a glimpse of life today? I do. I do because that is where my mind goes when I am not being productive. I would imagine they would be a little disappointed that we are not flying to work in Jetson cars or living on Mars yet, but that goes with out saying. I am mainly curious what they would think about our everyday life. If I was to go back in time and take Jimmy Smith from his tree fort and bring him to 2007, what would he say?

“What did you do to your dog?”

That’s right Jimmy, we dress our pets in costumes. I don’t think man’s best friend was would be sporting a dress when Ol’ Yeller and Lassie was the ideal dog. Back then if you stepped out on your porch with the family dog in drag you may have an issue on your hands. Surely it would be the influence of Communism and kids would most certainly fall victim to the wrath of the Greasers.

“Do you want to play catch?”

No he doesn’t Jimmy. Or maybe I should say he can’t. He can’t because he is a level 40 Deathdealer Elf from the land of Delvasar. If that is confusing to you Jimmy that is understandable. I am too. But believe it or not, he is just as confused by what a sandlot is. Kids today will usually go outside for the following reasons: earthquake, burger runs, fire, the rare occasion for social interaction, or if there is a power outage. Today, what may look like the family television is really a gateway to friends, fortune, popularity and magic. Oh yeah, and none of it is real. Mind-fucked yet Jimmy?

“Holy Cow! Is that a space ship? Whose the girl that needs more sandwiches?”

Oh Jimmy, if only we all thought that way. Yes we go to space but for some reason that is not as important as the girl who does need a sandwich. It’s hard to explain but that girl and her lifestyle, that seems to be circling the drain, is all we hear about. I heard a rumor that the shuttle went up in orbit the other day but I’m not sure. Linsay, on the other hand, is doing fine and she was seen today getting a tan during rehab. What is rehab you ask?

“Whoa! Did we get invaded?”

No Jimmy, that is not an alien. Believe it or not, to avoid getting old or to make ourselves feel better about our looks we can cut our faces off, stretch it out and sew it back on tighter. People also inject a fat-like substance into the lips to make them puffy. Most of the people who do this are the rich that find out money can’t always make you feel better. Oh yeah, we can also take off our noses and trade them for new ones. Jimmy? Did you just get sick in your hat?

“Santa! This year I want a BB gun, a fire engine, Cowboys and Indian figures and…….why does Santa look mad?”

Well Jimmy, Santa is pissed because we can no longer say Christmas. It is Holiday. It seems too many people were offended by the term Merry Christmas so we replaced it with Happy Holiday. If you say Christmas your thumbs will be cut off and sewn onto you elbows. And Santa? This was an artists rendering of him a few years ago before he finally lost his mind over little kids not being allowed to have an imagination from network TV choosing to skip classic Christmas specials and saying Mom and Dad are really Santa. He started strangling kids in there sleep and SWAT had to take him down. Sorry Jimmy.

“Jesus! Look at the size of that bag of dicks!”

Oh yeah, we ruined baseball too. Sorry again.

Scenes That Keep The Closet Light On

It takes a lot for me to get the case of the creeps when it comes to horror movies. I think it is a combination of both the lack of creativity in recent horror movies and the fact that I read quite a lot of horror novels proving that my imagination is far more disturbing than what could be put on the silver screen. That doesn’t mean that there are not some scenes that to this day will make me seconds guess turning off all the lights before bed. I don’t know why I subject myself to these movies, knowing full well, any noise after 10pm would certainly be dead souls about to “doorbell ditch” my house. I love it though. Here are some of my most memorable scary moments and the way it changed my childhood sleeping habits.

The first on the list is the dead kid from the movie Salem’s Lot. When I saw this movie I was probably about ten and it was over at a friend’s house on a Sunday evening. It’s funny what you remember because I can’t even recall people’s name in my own family but I remember this. Well anyway, we started the movie around 2pm and by the time it was over it was close to 4. The sun was going down and I made my trek home for dinner with the disturbing realization that soon it would be dark and thoughts like the video above would haunt my imagination. I blame this movie for my dread when the sky turns orange at dusk and Monday hangs over my head. I also, from that day on, refuse to look out the widow at night. Just in case the un dead is flying around outside. I hate seeing that smile through the fog.

Ah, the Freeling’s family from the classic movie, Poltergeist. When I saw this, the one scary part that stuck out the most was how normal the family was. It’s not like they were into the occult or the daughter played with a Ouji board. They were content to be the average family that had inadvertently bought a house that was the vortex to the other side. Every non-special effect really scared me to the core. The fact that furniture moved by itself, laughing voices, that odd mumble conversation between Carolann and the TV all made it seem that normal people would probably react the same way. That is what was so scary to me and when I was younger, hockey masks certainly did not frighten me as much as a kitchen chair sliding across the floor.

As terrifying as it gets. Curiosity killed the cat on this one. I originally saw this scene from the documentary Hollywood Ghosts back in 1992. I was horrified to watch this priest have a casual conversation with that monster strapped to the bed but then to find out that girl was my age and that was based on a true story! It was almost too much to take for a kid that couldn’t sleep from the library scene in Ghostbusters. So a few years later I finally saw the whole thing and to my surprise, it was not the scariest of all the scenes. It is just the one that I still can’t get out of my mind. The Exorcist, what a brilliant film.

The made for TV movie, Stephen King’s IT, really was a campy movie at times but some scenes hit home runs. I love the fact she was in an abandoned house the whole time. I have a fear that one night I will sleepwalk and wake up in a cemetery or some other creepy place. I don’t know if this movie prompted this fear or it validated it. Either way, I got the serious willies. That and the fact Tim Curry is in the movie.

I will add more I am sure, but for now that’s it. So, do what I do. Turn on the Cartoon Network, keep the closet light on and try not to think of dead kids crawling on the bed. It’s hard to think about that stuff when Scrappy Do is pissing you off.

Alright, I have another. I don’t know, I might have some issues with windows and chairs because this clip from the movie The Amityville Horror features both. Maybe I should be in an apartment without windows and full of bean-bag chairs. I doubt floating bean-bag chairs would be too scary. This movie was on HBO back in the day when the intro was really cool. I was not really sure what I was in store for so I sat in front of the TV, slouching and Indian-style. Little did I know that in two hours, the walk from the basement to my room would be the most heart stopping journey I have ever had. You can also be sure no rocking-chairs were looked at on the way.

Zelda the sick sister from Stephen King’s movie, Pet Sematary, tapped into my deepest fears. The fact that there is a crazy monster living just feet away really is the stuff nightmares are made of. I saw this when I was in middle school and nothing from the movie was overly frightening. That is until the wife’s flashback to the dirty secret her jacked up parents kept hidden away. Zelda made me take more vitamins. Thanks Stephen. Bet you didn’t expect that.

Dave Mustaine: If He Is Selling, Then I Am Buying

   For the past 20 years I have been a metal fan. I dig all sorts of music, of course, but metal really shaped my adolescent years through self expression. I could identify with Judas Priest and Motorhead more than the mainstream grunge era. I guess that I have always been the opposite of main stream in that way. It wasn’t that I aspired to be different but I was just myself and I think that in itself made me less of a freak. The one thing that I really went against, even among my closest metal friends was the fact the Dave Mustaine was the soul of the metal/thrash movement and not Metallica. It seems that Dave has been painted a loser by the millions of Metallica fans and for what? Because he was a true artist and lived his passion for metal even through highs and lows? So what if he couldn’t handle his drinking and drugs. He still is the greatest thrash artist that ever lived and at least he is not a sell out.

I don’t think the music industry has ever had a more fiery and feud enthused artist than Dave Mustaine. He lived, ate and breathed his art and over the past two and a half decades he still puts out his thrash licks from his Jackson V. He controls Megadeth and that is the way it should be. Do you know what happens when you sell out to the mainstream shit and other influencing artists? You get Some kind Of Monster. If I was to take that album back in time to the year 1986 and played it to Metallica fans I guarantee they would turn their backs on James and Lars because that is what they did to their true fans. Dave doesn’t put on eyeliner, black nail polish and write songs about hurt feelings because the popular bands of the time are. Fuck no! He would put a bullet in the band before selling out. I remember Jason Newsted responding to the question of selling out and you know what he said?

“Sure we sell out. We sell out every damn show.”

Maybe to teens and pop wannabes,  but not the fans who propelled you to the status that Metallica is at. Sure you sell out, but who’s buying, Jason? Who is buying? You’re not in the band so maybe you want to recant.

I’m not stating that James, Kirk, Lars or anyone of the bassists are bad musicians. They are amazing. I am stating that Dave Mustaine holds their talent in the tip of his pinkie. People know this when they see him live. I have been to a few Metallica shows and a few Megadeth shows and as far as vocal and guitar goes there is no comparison. Dave has got it and he didn’t adjust his sound or style just because NIN or Limp Bizkit is on top of the charts at the time. I know when a new Megadeth album comes out, it will aspire to rock harder and achieve new heights and not go in a new direction because Bob Rock, a panel of Rolling Stone magazine exects and psychologists say so. That is the furthest direction from both rock and metal that I have ever heard of.

Thank you Dave.

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