I Love The Smell Of Fall In The Morning

It’s a tough time of the season when you want all of the Halloween stuff out right now but most retailers (looking at you Target) are more concerned with backpacks and *enter boy band here* covered Trapperkeepers. It’s a tease. We are at the 10:20am mark before the menu switches and everyone is fully committed, so you have to kinda take what you get until then. That’s why this morning I am writing about smells of the demonic. Or maybe just Fall.

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Searching Target in vain for anything spooky I settled on their mild nod to the season in the Fall scent aisle. They have a few purely Fall titled sprays between Glade and good ol’ Febreze. If you are not into spays because you think the Ozone still has a sunroof, don’t worry your hippy hair, they make them all in both candles and plug-ins. I picked up the sprays because I need a limited example of each. I can’t smell up each room in my house for this review.

Actually, that would have been pretty cool. Double Shits!

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First on the list we have “Salted Caramel” from Glade, an SC Johnson product. At first glance I thought this to be both amazing and totally Halloween. At first smell, however, I thought this was more “Midnight Cowboy” from CVS. It’s a heavy scent that really doesn’t leave one area. By that I mean there is no permeation but a solid mass that waits for unsuspecting people to walk through it, sticking to their face like a spider web or swarm of mosquitos. You won’t get it out of the back of your throat no matter how many pumpkin beers you gargle with.

The description states it has a “…pop of salty and sweet caramel fragrance.” which is odd. I have smelled sweet things but I can’t recall an account of smelling salty things. Maybe the ocean. I don’t know. C-.

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Switching from candy to leaves, Febrese Air Effects has a their “Falling Leaves” limited edition spray. I was immediately attracted to this for some reason. I think it is just specific memories of cool mornings walking home from a Friday night bash, smelling the wet leaves and cursing the 6am Saturday runners. It’s a distant memory but still an effective one.

But this can does not capture that olfactory sense at all. I think they captured Great Aunt Ann rather than anything Fall. You know the smell; make-up and sixty year old perfume? Yeah, you do. This is another air spray that is better suited to kill any offensive oder by masking it with a different but equally offensive oder. It smells and hangs heavy in the air like an invisible bag of piss, waiting for an unsuspecting passer-by who will most likely have their mouth open. D.

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Here is another SC Johnson product from Glade and this is interesting. “Hayride”? I never knew a Hayride was an attractive smell. If memory serves me right it’s a mix of allergic attack and either horse poop or tractor exhaust depending on which mode of pull the farm chooses. It’s like their “Salted Caramel” idea, I just hope it’s not executed the same.

I like it! It’s really interesting and it does remind me of a Fall scene. It’s not quiet Hayride but it smells a lot like the first day of school. I can’t explain it but taking a huff off this can I am walking into Mt. Bethel Elementary with a backpack larger than my torso and velcro shoes. It’s really incredible! I love it and this is going in the den rather than the last two who are banished to the bathrooms. A-. (The minus is only because it’s not Hayride. That might be a good thing.)

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Finally we come to another Glade spray and while this one isn’t original what so ever, I do believe my saturated nose will enjoy this. “Orchard Apple Cinnamon” can not not smell amazing. It just can’t!

Oh wow. Wow that smells a lot like one of those 365 days a year Christmas shops. When I take a whiff from this I am surrounded by thirty fake and tacky Christmas trees with tacky decor while fat tourists wearing fanny packs slowly meander through the narrow aisles eating soft serve out of a cup. THIS IS NOT HALLOWEEN! WAIT YOUR TURN SPRAY! C. (Will be an A when November first arrives.)

So there you have it. None of these scream Halloween and only one really has something to be proud of. Go to Target and spray these around to see..er…smell for yourself. I am fairly certain “Hayride” will be in your cart. The other three can be used to kill spiders.

Sorry the countdown hasn’t been totally wheels up since my job is not sympathetic to my demon worshiping self but hang on, shit’s about to get real.

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OH! And guess who started their Halloween Countdown? Matt from Dinosaur Dracula started his chainsaw and it’s amazing. Please go there now. NOW! (Click the header)

The Banshee Flash Fun

I love spooky stories and I especially love the spooky stories that have been told for hundreds of years.  It’s like a provocative way to pass superstitions and family stories for generations to enjoy around a fire or scare their kids as they are tucked in for the night. Folklore and legend make for wonderful lessons and childhood memories.

A good example would be when I was probably seven or eight my Great Aunt Margret was tucking me in bed for the night around Christmas time. She was straight off the boat from Ireland just a few years before I was born and I always remember her shrill tone and pure Irish wit as she chastised us for watching TV or late for dinner.  It wasn’t until much later after her death did I learn she would smile when she was really angry. My entire childhood I believed she was only kidding when she yelled, confused by her facial expressions.

I’ll never forget the story that she told me while tucking me in, warning that I needed to be asleep before the Banshee arrived and that every night she could pop in to see if all children were asleep. If they weren’t she would let out a horrible scream and steal their soul. If that story wasn’t terrifying enough, she imitated a Banshee-like scream at the top of her lungs, raising her hands in grabbing motions and that terrible, terrible look on her face as she finished to a growl still sticks with me today.

That’s an excuse to piss the bed if ever there was one. Oh, and I forgot to mention, Great Aunt Margret didn’t have any kids.

To this day the legend of the Banshee is one of my favorites like the Headless Horseman or Dracula. The thought of a horrible female ghost coming in a house at night to collect souls really had me quaking under the sheets as a kid but now that I am an adult, it’s a fun story. That’s why this amazing flash animation of The Banshee by Ed Bain at the site, Darkartsmedia.com, is so great and unbelievably well done.

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This short animation has such an eerie feel to it. You listen to the ghostly winds and the lack of music adds to the dreary and melancholy effect as a woman tells her story of the Banshee coming to reap the soul of her grandmother.

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The story has a bit of everything that makes the hairs stand on the back of the neck from the graves to the skeletons creeping behind the Banshee. The narrator tells of farm hands who report seeing a young girl walking alone in the woods and when they call she disappears. That is pretty creepy, I will admit.

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It ends with the Banshee screaming out at night from the roof of the house of the narrator as she took her Grandmother’s soul. The moon turns blood-red and skeletons creep up the yard towards the house.

She did, however, fail to include the part when she shit her pants. I guess that would detract from the story but I wouldn’t lay blame for something I would absolutely do.

This is a cool little piece of the internet that I like to visit when the days get a little shorter and the air is crisp. Please take a gander and turn the speakers up high. Ed suggests visiting between the hours of 3am and 4am.

It requires Adobe Flash so unfortunately iPads and iPhones aren’t able to play this but everything else should be A-OKAY. Truly a love of mine.

THE BANSHEE

 

Blasts From the Past

It’s a glorious Saturday. The weather is cooler than usual, the coffee tastes better than usual and the internet is faster than usual. All-in-all, it’s an unusual day for the better. So I am going to enjoy it and head to the pool, then East to my buddy’s place so I can get mad love from his awesome 3-year-old and watch horrible VHS from the 1980’s until the wee hours of the morning.

But I am not going to abandon my freakish duty and not post. Oh no, I will share some older Halloween-ish posts from seasons gone by. Enjoy and I will be around the Twitter-sphere if you want to drop me a line. It’s an all day party here!

Click on the links below the photos. Beware!

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A Drop of Water recap. Or…pee pants.

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A movie rental that started it all.

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My pal, Kenny, and the real Michael Meyers house in NC!

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Frightfest at Six Flags and my permanent ban thanks to Moon Pies and a Looping Starship.

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Favorite Tales from the Darkside Episode. And I believe the very first, too!

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WTF is that?!?!?! Well, that’s embarrassing.

So that should keep you busy and remember, follow me on Twitter for stupid photos and possibly drunken haikus. Ok, probable drunken haikus. I’m to the left of this post.

The Most Crazy Short On YouTube: SMILE

This is a story that needs to be told.

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A long time ago I had the great experience of going to Israel as a soldier for the US Army. It wasn’t for the state of Israel but as a joint training effort and it was very, very short. I actually never talk about it and even my closest family members don’t know of this trip. It was both fun and terrifying and as a young man, I let it shape my very being.

I was on the Lebanese border. I saw real-time death.  It was fucking crazy. Eight went and seven came back. Real world shit. (these sentences need to be short.)

But that is not what this is about. This is about Elfie and the awesome Israeli people I was around. They are amazing and this is a great horror-short that exemplifies how amazing, talented and liberal the Israeli people are. I love them and we need to let them know their horror is the type that needs to be shared.

I love this because not only is it an identifiable story it’s so well done. They hit every spacial disorientation from language mixing to basic “did I just do that” confusion. It’s a masterpiece and no one knows it. Or maybe everyone does and I have been sitting on it for years.

Either way, it’s a great story and I am excited to share it with those who don’t know it.

Shalom! I truly love you, Israel!

SMILE

 

 

 

Halloween Season In Session….Almost

Today is the day that I kick off the long and thrilling road to All Hallow’s Eve. This will be a journey that will go down in history for this six-year-old blog and hopefully be an ongoing thing until either I croak or discover something better. Highly doubtful there is something better though, considering this years lineup of activity. I don’t want to spoil the surprises so be sure to tune in every evening for posts, articles, reviews, videos, giveaways, and lots more.

So before we officially begin I made a short clip of what you can expect. There’s little horror, a touch of beer, a dash of a new series called “Spooky North Carolina”, just a pinch of buddies like Matt from Dinosaur Dracula and Brian and Tim from Review the World, and a jug of Kimmie who is amazing. That’s just 1/100th of the season.

Let the show begin!

Fall Beer Review 2013: Part 1

Holy heck, I have been doing the Fall beer reviews since August of 2007! It all started at a Kroger grocery store in Augusta, Georgia when I stumbled on a JW Dundee craft pack that inspired a nostalgic trip that I shared on a very young VeggieMacabre. It also led to Pepp-o-lanetern. From then on I have made the annual tradition of Fall beer reviewing for my pleasure and the few who care about the a.b.v. percentage in a beverage with dead leaves on the bottle.

This year will be a real banner year for the site because the Halloween countdown is around the corner and I have no less than six fall craft packs to yap about. There are more but I have committed to six.  Since the Halloween countdown will overlap the Fall Beer Review, expect to see some spooky shenanigans. 

Starting out on the right foot, Magic Hat Brewing Company out of S. Burlington, Vermont, has hit another home run and managed to mix autumn brand beers with straight-up Halloween glory in their “Night of the Living Dead” variety pack featuring two new beers; the Seance and Deveiled. I won’t spoil the video review but please check out their site too. It’s to disembowel for. 

Sneaky Pete

Hey, I am slowly creeping out of “real work” mode to full-on “horror/Halloween” mode but until that transformation has fully taken place, I need to get the masses excited about what’s been going on. While I haven’t posted much, I will say the content behind the scene here is pretty full and cool. Let me tease you.

So far I have taken about nine road trips in a video series called “Spooky North Carolina” where I visit all the creepy places in my home state. I interview a few pretty cool people including one of the writers for the recently released film, The Conjuring, test my skills in the kitchen from Hell as I prepare the ultimate terrifying cocktails for your Halloween parties and much much much much much much more. Including teaming up with amazing people for joint projects, like Kimmie!

Kimmie is an amazing friend of mine and I have been dying to add her to the VeggieMacabre family and this year looks like the year! She writes for Darkmedia.com and is witty, hot and a great cook but back off dudes, she’s a married lady.

Here is a taste test of Kimmie who you will be seeing more of as we kick open the doors to the Halloween season. Enjoy!

Ghostbusters Retro-Action!

I am about to go down a road not often traveled here on VeggieMacabre. That road involves toys. But it’s okay because it also involves Ghostbusters, too!

Mattel’s The Real Ghostbusters Retro-Action figures were a 2011 release exclusively at Toys R Us stores and this flew well below my radar. Luckily for me, I was able to acquire this particular action set (?) for $25 from an incredibly weird toy vender who used a wheel chair but rolled it by shuffling her feet. She also haggled with me on the price which was clearly sticker-ed. This is what I get for shopping at flea market store that could be destroyed by a leaf blower.

There are few oddities which propelled me to purchase this item. Okay, there were a few oddities that made me buy this item.

The first is the “adult collection” classification. It seems a bit odd that they marketed this purely for the adults who were of the age to appreciate the old line of toys in the late 1980s and 90’s. I am not a betting man but my assumptions are there are plenty of Samhain decapitated heads rolling around toy rooms as we speak. So to limit the marketability to only adults with a cute Slimer and a sweet proton pack seems limiting, at best.

EDIT: Just looked up this set on eBay and it’s going for $79.00. So, goddamn it. Ignore my last.

Second, and most importantly, the “GIANT 22″” cardboard firehouse that I desperately needed for more ridiculous decor in the office. It was the thing that stood out the most, even surpassing one of the best villain in The Real Ghostbusters, Samhain. But I will tell you, it’s a huge bitch to put together.

Well, against better judgement, I devalued this action pack by 200% and pried it open to take a closer look at what we have. Not much of a mystery from the enclosed case but I will say these figures are pretty detailed! Right down to the boots.

Like I said earlier, I am not much on toy reviews. I like them and have been known to review a few from time to time but I mostly leave that type of article to the professionals like Matt from Dinosaurdracula.com or some YouTube celebrity with a trust fund to burn. Right now I am out for decor for my juvenile office and a chance to have Slimer, Samhain and a cardboard firehouse was too much of a temptation. Janine is no concern to me. I wish it was Rick Moranis.

I think we should start with the weapons…er…ghost-catching equipment. Let me make a stupid diagram real quick.

1. P.K.E. Meter: Psychokinetic Energy Meter that is used to detect the whereabouts of paranormal activity. I guess it measures ghost stuff and brackets it in a numbered value. Here are the parameters:

            200-300 = No Threat, small to no paranormal activity.

            301-450 = Trouble, you have a faint trace of a spook.

            451-550 = Biblical Proportions

Is it just me or is “faint trace of a spook” to “biblical proportions” quite a jump? That’s like picking up on a red-tailed shark and the next step is great white. You would think Egon would be concerned.

2. Proton Pack Mark 1: The most recognizable of the arsenal it consists of two parts: The Nuclear Accelerator Backpack (Proton Pack, Positron Collider, Cyclotron.) and Particle Thrower (Proton Gun, Ion Wand, Ion Cannon, Neutrona Wand.). It is nuclear  powered and I am sure it required a testicle shield but since ol’ Bug-Eyes was donning this, no nut-shield was needed.

3. Ghost Trap: I guest this can be described as a mini-containment unit. The Trap is an Electromagnetic Field Generator that is encased in an extremely strong and powerful Steel Grid and the EMF draws ghosts into the trap. The Trap is connected to a six to eight feet cable, which is connected to a “Stomp-on Pedal”. It requires at least 48 hours to charge ensuring if I was a Ghostbuster, I would be totally screwed all the time when it came to the final process of catching a ghost. I always have a 1/3 charge on my phone.

4. Barcharach Sniffer 300: So this will blow you frickin’ mind. It’s a real piece of equipment from a true company that specializes in equipment that detects gas and vapor. I really thought this was the most ridiculous of the bunch! And…now we learned something. It tests ionized traces left by P.K.E. activity, and can be used to date the occurrences of paranormal activity. It was created by Bacharach/United Technologies. “One of our little toys.”

In case you are impressed with my extensive knowledge of Ghostbuster gear, don’t. I got it all from here. I really want to hug the people or person who made this.

Before we jump to the characters I want to look at the absolute pain the fire house was to assemble. It was like constructing one of those elaborate paper airplanes made to look like a F-15. It has too many pieces that hated one another so you had to force them together like telling brothers hug. (Two Two Two analogies in one!)

You have to admit it’s a pretty cool idea they had to include a Ghostbuster HQ in the packaging. I hope this catches on with other “adult” collections like He-Man comes with a Grey Skull castle front. I see great things in paper-cutouts for the future.

This gif isn’t spectacular but it’s a brief glimpse of my frustration as I tried over and over to stand the damn thing up. Finally, I had it pieced together but if anyone looked close, there’s no way this building is to code. As Egon said, “I think it should be condemned…”. Thank goodness for Ray.

Now that the main reason for buying this action set is built and displayed I guess it’s time to move on to the characters themselves. I think I will start off with my favorite and one Hell of a villain, Samhain. He was the super boss if there was one in the series, The Real Ghostbusters, and probably peaked a 700 on the ol’ P.K.E. meter. Though I don’t think he’s quite as cool as the Sandman because he lacked a theme song, I do think when it comes to Halloween inspired bad dudes, you can’t beat him.

This is a pretty cool likeness to the cartoon from the glowing eyes to the tiny teeth to the magic cape which apparently is the source of powers to the…black boots? I didn’t know the demon of Halloween had feet? Makes you wonder what else this guy has for accessories? Does he have a utility belt? Perhaps a satchel full of candy corn?

Holy shit! Apparently Samhain is a fan of palates. That dude is ripped and if it wasn’t for his bulbous head full pumpkin guts, I would say he is a chick magnet.

This keeps getting more uncomfortable, doesn’t it? Not only is Samhain a palates guru but likes black underwear. (Des Webb) There is something to be said for a villain who wears a magical robe with only black underwear and boots underneath.

If I elaborate any further on Samhain’s physique and black undies, people might get the wrong idea about this blog so I will continue on with…

COME ON!!!

I think I am going to skip Janine. I am not being misogynistic but as far as the character goes, I was never a fan. I loved her in the first Ghostbusters but after that, no. I will say, Samhain isn’t doing Xtreme Fitness Tap Out Douche training for nothing. He may be looking to infiltrate the Ghostbusters, if you know what I mean. Heh.

And while he is busy doing that, I think Slimer may take this opportunity to work Samhain’s magic robe for his own cause.

Not knowing the true power of the cape from the Netherworld, he sputters Slimer-like sentence fragments and toots,  wishing to the dark forces for an eternal supply of candy. Only this disgusting spud can have unlimited and unchecked power and use it for junk food.

Janine and the Prince of Halloween were already in the Showbiz hot tub that Louis Tully had won several years ago in a skeetball contest south of Cape Cod. Too distracted by lust, they had no idea Slimer had summoned Satan himself to deliver Earth crushing loads of candy. Black underwear has powers that Janine could not break away from.

But Slimer forgot one thing about black Halloween magic; you don’t quite get what you think.

The Dark One delivered on the request but much to Slimer’s chagrin, it was a lifetime supply of pina colada jellybeans.

All-in-all, not a bad set. I guess it wasn’t made to be played with because the characters can stand about as well as Larry Flint. The legs are way too loose. Everything else was pretty spot on including the giant firehouse which was the highlight of the whole set. Aside from the construction, of course. B grade.

That concludes the dumbest shit I have ever written. I have been writing so much in reference to the Halloween countdown which is starting just around the corner, I sometimes forget no one will come if they forget you are here so…I am here! Please don’t forget me.

Oh! And here is the addition to the office. The giant Ghostbuster Firehouse. Meh.

 

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