13 0’Clock!

Hey folks, guess what? I bet you can’t guess. Well, try at least.

You’re right! I am starting another web series and this time it is more than just my ugly mug you will have to stare at. The great Thomas Boatwright of BOATWRIGHT ART will be joining me in a fun little web show called “13 0’Clock”. The schtick is it will air every 13th of the month! Pretty neat, huh?

Also! While we chat about relevant pop culture news and topics of fun interest like how friction’ cool Peter Cushing was, Tom will sketch a piece that YOU, that’s right, YOU can have for your very own!

Now I know this was supposed to be on the 13th of this month but Final Cut was being a real little bitch with exporting error codes that took a whole two days to figure out. The crazy thing was I never could figure out the error code 1001 and the twentieth time I tried to upload, it did. That I cannot stand in the least. BUT, it is finally up so pretend it’s Saturday, February 13th and I am right on schedule.

Enjoy our intro, episode 0.0 of 13 0’CLOCK! Thanks Thomas for being a good sport.

Ode To My Favorite Halloween Painting…From A Calendar

I am about to share with you a very special memory from 1985. It’s no secret many of my nostalgic roots are grounded in the autumn season, Halloween in particular. As a kid I looked forward to the month of October sometime around July so I would always flip the kitchen calendar ahead to see what it had in store for the upcoming season. The year 1985 won hands down.

Mom always had Charles Wysocki calendars and I am sure if you grew up in the 80’s, you are familiar. I loved the detailed artwork especially in the Halloween and Christmas scenes. They had so much going on it was like Where’s Waldo chaos but with nothing specific to find. It was just busy and to a seven-year old in with ten TV channels, no VCR and definitely without video games, this was pure entertainment to me. I spent hours staring at this odd world and daydreaming what a horror hotel would be like. This is responsible for my love of Halloween.

A few months ago I was thinking about this calendar, in particular October of 1985. With a few Google searches and some wild guesses like “spooky scene 1980’s calendar”, to my amazement, not only did I find it but I could buy the original. And I did. It’s currently hanging in my office but I took it down to scan and share it with you.

Here are some closer images to take a gander at.

Good grief, the top corner has some pretty crazy things going on. From a lynched scarecrow to a an executioner walking his spiked pig and cow-cat, it’s hard to wrap you mind around the scene if you didn’t have the whole picture. I’ve been debating whether to send this cropped portion as a Halloween card but all my friends don’t need any further excuse to question my sanity.

I am a big fan of the wispy ghosts through the cemetery. I remember thinking of these before bedtime at seven years old. Oh my innocence lost.

Holy cats, look at all of this! It’s hard to know where to start but my eyes always go to the Amish Jedediah guy in the broken window. Know idea why because you have a number of crazy creatures carrying hammers and axes, looking menacingly at you. I would make fun of the guy with the ax for the way he is sitting but, you know, he has an ax. I’ll let that one slide.

Notice the chipmunk-bear riding a bird? Yeah, I barely did too. And a naked dog…thing.

Here we have two gents having a nap, one with a horned dog on his lap. I think they are asleep but judging by the theme, they may well be dead. I’ll leave that up to your imagination but we clearly see a blue hand sticking out of the bag so death isn’t exactly a gamble.

Pithia’s Bloodlust Wrinkledeath is by far one of the greatest names to be named a name. Can you imagine your last name being Wrinkledeath? There could only be one profession for you! If you weren’t a body remover you had to at least be a pro wrestler.

This is funny because back in the day the girls in my second grade class wore these pants which had straps for their feet. I believe they called them stirrups. I always thought the guy with bare feet was wearing girl pants. That dates me as an old man.

So there is my little piece of my history which explains what made Halloween so special to me. There are thousands of these types of memories but it’s rare to own one and get to relieve it, if only for a few minutes.

Inspiration from a Skating Wall-Walker

Inspiration doesn’t come easy these days. I try to find it by volunteering or helping those less fortunate but even then it’s a fleeting moment of “meh”. I’ve been sucked into corporate America and closing on a house, so soon I will be assimilated into the masses who go to Home Depot on Saturdays and become an active member of a home owners association. While it is necessary to leap forward as an adult, I still do require a bit of inspiration that reminds me of simpler times. And that happened a few weeks ago when I took some kids roller skating.

Let’s be clear, I don’t skate. Charlie don’t surf, Billy don’t skate. I will, however, watch those who do and that’s mainly hoping for wipeouts or older male teens who have roller skate dance-offs. I like to laugh at misfortune. But after an hour or so the hilarity diminishes and I am forced to complain that the music stinks or the fact sweaty kids are gross. My volunteering for the local rotary chapter always turns out to be more painful than I anticipate.

I don’t know how roller skating was decided as the activity I was chaperoning but I will say, stepping into a roller rink building is like stepping back to 1987. This carpet agrees. There is not much that can change besides the music and if the main activity is roller skating in circles and a few limbo games, you gotta stick to what works. Even the arcade barely changed, I assume. There is no way a place would buy half of these “push the quarters off the ledge” machines.

I think what really hits the nostalgia bone is the fact nearly 90% of all the elementary and middle school birthday parties I was invited to was hosted at Sparkles Roller Rink. And I hated every single one of them. The reason being is I can’t skate. To this day I have the worst balance and if there are wheels under my feet, my face is on the floor. What made it even worse was being forced to wear the damn skates because everyone else would know I suck. By putting them on I could at least hang on to something and avoid the constant torment of adults questioning what wrong with me like “aren’t you having fun?” or “are you feeling okay?”. If there is anything worse than your peers making fun of you it’s the parents of the birthday kid asking if you wanted special treatment. I always opted for catastrophic falls and holding on for dear life to an awful video game no one wanted to play and without of quarters.

Lost in my own thoughts when I should have been watching the kids we brought, I spotted something that I had not seen in years. It was a roller skating wall-walker. And what really blew my mind was the fact he had to be at least 60!

This is not the greatest picture but in a room full of strange kids, I had to take my pictures quickly and discreetly.

As you can see he is walking that wall. It’s clear that if this wasn’t his first time on skates it had to have been at least 40 years since he has graced the rink. It was both inspiring and a little nerve-racking. This dude’s hips were in definite danger especially when negotiating the breaks in walls that were for access to the rink. There were a few “whoa” moments and even a spill or two.

Every time he completed a lap (which took 20 minutes) I was certain he would just return to a bench and join the other adults who, by the way, had their feet firmly planted to the ground. But no, he just started a new lap. It was like watching a goose trying to cross a highway. He didn’t give a shit.

Around the fourth lap or so, I had to give this guy some encouragement. So I waited until he crawled his way past my side of the rink and I said “way to go, man!”. He shot me a look like I just told his daughter to wear shorter dresses. I was a little taken aback because I had been so impressed with his resilience and stubbornness to master an activity designed for an 8 year old that I was certain he would give me a thumbs up. Nope, he was a bit of a dick.

Well, even though his attitude towards me was shitty, I am still inspired by his determination to both look foolish and not give up. I can’t imagine the amount of aspirin this dude had to take the next day. I saw him flail and flop on the ground no less than a dozen times. So, every time I am engaged in a long and arduous activity I will think of the 60 year old wall-walker and remember, don’t give up.

Okay, I just reread this post and I disagree with all of this. The guy never got better at skating but in fact much worse. He should have given up the second he started tap dancing backwards and making arm gestures like a mime pulling an imaginary rope. He lost 16,000 man points and I can’t imagine at 60 years old, someone would aspire to be a decent roller skater. There are so many other great activities that don’t require you to look like a cat with tape on its feet.

Sorry for all of this. Happy Thursday!

 

 

 

Touched By the Ethereal Plane

Life is what you make of it and sometimes you just have to jump at certain chances. This weekend was one of those chances and I could not say no. You’ll see why.

This past weekend I got to hangout with the crew of the show Paranormal State for an investigation at the renown Sorrel-Weed house down in Savannah, Georgia. That alone was a pretty cool thing to do but what happened later into the investigation, I will never forget. It is definitely something that will stay with me for life. Probably should not have power lunged in a provoking nature.

I think every haunted house that is a tourist attraction in Savannah or Charleston seems to have the same premiss; blah blah civil war hospital blah blah slave house blah blah distressed widow’s suicide…and on and on. I guess that all makes for pretty good stories but no matter how many times I visit, I never really get “spooked”. True, a number of years ago I did have an experience in Savannah but so much time has passed, the thrill is gone. I honestly can’t even remember the specifics. This time was different. This time I caught proof. I think.

Before I get into the investigation part I must say Elfie, Serge and Ryan are absolute delights. They are awesome people who truly take their passion to a high level of professionalism in this field. These are not the people who turn a blind eye to very much and it’s very refreshing to see how they rule out all possibilities before turning to the supernatural for an explanation.

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So, I could go on and on about hanging out with the chaps of Paranormal State but I am really wanting to get to the down right creepy. After a tour of a cemetery and a nice dinner downtown it was time to get locked in the Sorrel-Weed house with these guys and try to get spooked. To be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to being locked in an old house from midnight to 3am especially with beach and beer just a short drive away. But I committed to doing this and I had to ask myself when would a person get to do this in present company? Not often.

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Inside we gathered and got a little history of the place but I was more drawn to the Robert E Lee painting. It was gigantic and probably priceless. Actually, I just wanted to see if his eyes followed me like an old Scooby Doo cartoon. He didn’t.

Soon we turned off all the lights and broke into groups. It doesn’t matter what you believe, when you can’t see in front of your face, the mind will play tricks on you. Every sound is amplified and every slight movement can be exaggerated. It’s hard to stay focused when you can’t get the movie Poltergeist out of your head.

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We broke into two groups and Serge led us down to the basement. I didn’t think of it but before you start shooting photos with blinding flashes it’s important to say “flash”. I had to apologize…a lot. All these pictures from here on were taken in total darkness. That’s important to keep in mind especially with a certain few that no one can explain.

Of course if you have read any of my older posts about being in notably “haunted” areas, I always break into a power lunge. I can’t explain why but it is a tradition and when dealing with the paranormal and superstition, it’s best not to break tradition. This may have been a maneuver that did not go over well with the permanent residences.

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What followed next, I will say, surprised me. We sat in a small group for a while down in the basement and listened to Serge talk about techniques and reasons for certain team practices. It was pretty neat but I didn’t feel out-of-place or spooked in the least. It was just a house that smelled like mildew.

Then Serge asked if I would feel comfortable sitting in the next room alone while the group left. I agreed to do that. Like I said, I wasn’t feeling weirded out or nervous so sitting in a closed room in the dark wasn’t a problem. Until…

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The first picture is a bit blurry but you can see most of the room from this angle. I was sitting on an old couch and to the right was a chimney with another empty room separated by two back sheets. On the left was another black sheet separating a small storage closet. I didn’t really know what to do because the silence was deafening, you couldn’t see a thing and I knew there was a camera with a voice recorder actively recording so for the first few minutes all I did was sit in silence. After awhile, though, I began to talk and snap pictures feeling just a tad silly. That’s when something started to happen.

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After I posed a question about our mortality and what it is like to be dead (stupid stupid question!) something rushed from the left side of me to the right, sat on the arm of the couch and it felt like an index finger and thumb squeezed my ear. It was so fast and so violent I jumped up and before I knew it I was out the door in a cold sweat. The team rushed to me and I couldn’t even explain but they saw my reaction from the cameras and knew something was happening.

The next two photos are what I captured right before I experienced…whatever that was. I didn’t see them until the next morning and it was both thrilling and unnerving. It sucks I didn’t think to look at them until then but I was so spun up I couldn’t think.

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I looked at this for hours completely dumbfounded. I must have taken thirty pictures in a totally darkened bathroom trying to recreate this photo doing everything from putting my fingers over the lens to blocking the flash. It always comes out reddish or skin toned. Also I was sitting on the couch taking pictures holding the camera at a half an arm’s length away from my body. It is impossible to get a shadow unless the flash is behind me. It’s a dark shadow that moved so fast and fucking touched me. That’s all I can possibly believe. And it’s more than a coincidence after asking such a stupid question.

The rest of the night was kind of a blur. We did EVP sessions and I took more photos but after that happened, I was a little spooked and ready to be in a hotel bed.

I will write more on this after I go through all photos and video but I needed to post this. It was a great time but I think for paranormal hunting, I will leave it to the pros and safely watch it on TV. Like right now!

See? Every time I turn the tube on Paranormal State is on! I am happy to watch it from a far.

I know there are plenty of skeptics that laugh at this and can come up with hundreds of reasons for these photos. They are not dust orbs, though. That shit happened. And I look forward to see what’s on the video. But for now, I will be doing this type of investigating.

Beer hunting!

I’ll write more on this later. Check out the Paranormal State reruns on the Bio Channel and A&E. They are a hoot. A big thanks to Elfie, Ryan and Serge. Thanks for not laughing at me when I ran out of the room like I had a rabid squirrel in my pants.

 

Dollar Store Challenge

It’s all downhill from here, folks. I have finally been able to participate in a joint project with the two of the greatest bloggers, writers and just all around good people; Matt from Dinosaur Dracula (former X-Entertainment) and Brian from Review the World. In comparison, I really don’t belong but Matt and Brian were cool enough to let me in on this great idea. I feel kind of like the kid brother who gets to tag along with his older brother and friends for a boat ride. Then a shark shows up and they get stranded on Cable Junction until Dad comes and electrocutes the shark. What? Where was I?

Anyway, we decided on a $5 limit for a shopping spree to the local Dollar Store/Tree/Mart. From there we would bring our findings home and in real-time, post a video reviewing our prized finds. I knew from the beginning that Matt and Brian’s would be spectacular. And they are.

Brian from Review the World! It is absolutely impossible to watch anything that Brian does and not instantly be in a better mood. His attitude and positivity makes this planet that much better to be on. Spend the day watching some of his past adventures. You’ll love ’em.

Matt from Dinosaur Dracula! He’s the star, no doubt. His videos are about the damn funniest eight minutes on the entire internet. His sincerity and hilarious view-point is something that can not be matched. I try and fail miserably…often. Get lost over at Dinosaur Dracula. It’s a great place to be!

Dippy me!

I am so flattered to be apart of this. I have been a fan of Matt and Brian for years and the chance to work (not really work) with them is cooler to me than fishing with Robert DeNiro. Please take time to watch their videos and join the DinoDrac community. Amazing people over there.

It’s nice to have awesome friends like those guys.

Thanks for stopping by!

Toxic Sludge: A Beer for the Birds. No, Really.

It has been a little while since I posted but being a working chump doesn’t leave too much time for writing about nonsense and beer. This time I was able to shave off an hour from the grind to talk a little bit about Blue Point’s Toxic Sludge Black IPA. The second I laid eyes on this can I knew it was destined for a star spot on VeggieMacabre. It is one part Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, one part Ghostbusters and three parts Toxic Avenger all equalling one brilliant design that makes you want to stare at it but definitely not consume it.

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The cool thing about Toxic Sludge is that Blue Point Brewery donates a portion of its profits to a bird sanctuary to rehabilitate birds affected by the BP oil spill. It’s a funny design for such a tragic accident but let’s not ruin that with seriousness. Watch the video featuring me, Toxi the Toxic Avenger, that melted guy in Robocop and my buddies at Lost Story Studios, Bo and Brockton.

Sorry for the attire. I told you work has been a bitch.

The Evil Cabin Dead Fever Beer Review

It has been a bit since I have done one of my idiot beer reviews so, on this day of the Sabbath, I figured I might as well get back on it. This time I have tied the beer review to something that I have been looking forward to for quite some time. The remake and release of a 1980 classic, The Evil Dead. I have not seen it yet but after the hype has calmed down I will be in row three with no snacks. I heard it’s pretty gory. I have an easy gag reflex.

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As far as the beer goes, New Holland Brewing from Holland Michigan, is one of my all time favorites. Jason Spaulding and Brett VanderKamp, the founders, represent the all-American dream; loving beer and deciding to get wealthy making it. This particular review is the winter brown ale, Cabin Fever. I love the spooky font and the bottle art makes me think that there is a body in the backyard wood chipper. It screams VeggieMacabre and now you’ll have to watch the video to see why.

Spoiler alert! I loved it.

 

It’s A Mad Mad Mad Monster Party: Part 2

Hello there! I am back with the second part to the Mad Monster recap. Sorry it has taken a little while longer to get this up but stupid work was being, well, stupid. Gotta pay the bills, ya know? Anyway, let us jump right back to where I left off.

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I will admit, even though this was a horror convention, I am always amazed by people who think up and create stuff like this. It’s one thing to dress up as your favorite character or even just a random zombie, it’s a whole other bag of beans to strap a quadriplegic zombie girl to your back and walk around in jeans and a button-down shirt just because. It didn’t make any sense. I can’t think of a time I walked around with a mannikin strapped to my back and passed it off as a costume. Well, there was that Halloween when I did the whole “Weekend at Bernie’s” thing. But that was different!

And there was more than one of these weirdos too! It seemed these five guys all over the age of 38 got together and thought this was a brilliant idea. I sure hope these guys are writers or producers of “The Walking Dead” or something because if it’s random, C minus. It just doesn’t make any sense. But this next thing does!!!

What the shit is this? I kind of love it. Really can’t tell how this…thing…got to the top of the stairs and into the convention center but much success to this guy for pulling off such an impressive costume. If it wasn’t for the huge claws and steak knife I would swear that the inspiration came from the old cartoon The Real Ghostbusters. It just seems that crazy. But what do I know?

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The main reason I was at The Mad Monster Party was to see and support my boys, Brockton and Bo, from Lost Story Studios. They are brilliant artists and can zombie-fy any character you can think of. Not only are they great artists, they are fantastic people and their wives, Amy and Holly are equally as cool. I wish we lived closer but for my liver’s sake, perhaps it’s better that we don’t. Thank you Amy (long time friend) for expanding my buddy pool.

Just look at their work. I love it oh so much. Also, their comic Death Curse is crazy good. This will be huge so remember folks, you saw it here first.

Later in the evening we all party pretty heavy into the night. I have no idea how these guys can get up the next day draw and be creative. My mind was mush and for once, I understood Busey.

Speaking of Busey…

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My good pal Josh C asked me if he could get a personalized hello from Gary Busey and I said sure thing. I knew I could figure something out but honestly, I had no idea the level of insanity that guy has achieved. From the second I met him I knew this needed to be a fast transaction. Here’s how it went:

Me: Hello Mr. Busey, I’m a big fan but my buddy Josh can’t be here. Could I get a picture of you holding this saying hello to him?

Busy: What? Speak up!

Me: HELLO MR. BUSEY, I AM A BIG FAN BUT MY BUDDY JOSH CAN’T BE HERE. COULD I GET A PICTURE OF YOU HOLDING THIS SAYING HELLO TO HIM?

Busey: You have a shirt on you…what?

Me: What?

Busey’s publicist: He just wants you to hold this sign for a friend while he takes a picture.

Busey: So no one is going to sit next to me?

Me: *thinking to myself* Please for the love of Christ, let the camera work.

After that exchange I gave him $20 and he quite literally ripped it from my hand like a money stealing a tourist’s ice cream. I felt like I somehow annoyed him so I bought an autograph as well. It was a headshot from Lethal Weapon. I told him the special forces tattoo line was our favorite when I was in the military. He said of all the movies he has done, that role was his favorite.

Then, out of nowhere, he stood up and saluted me and screamed, “I SALUTE YOU SIR!!!” spitting wildly. I just smiled and backed away like the woman in Elf. You know the scene. The “IT’S SANTA!” scene? Pay attention to the old woman in the background after the Santa shouting. That was me.

Well, Gary didn’t disappoint and he was everywhere all weekend. In fact he acquired a guitar somehow and I barely caught this little ditty.

It’s kind of funny to think that guy could have been murdered by Meatloaf.  Loaf. I hate that word.

After that experience I moved over one spot to my right and there was his son, Jake Busey. Not nearly the line that his father had but he seemed to be in good spirits. We actually shot the shit for a while about the first episode of Tales From the Crypt and how that show evolved since the first season. He seemed surprised that someone would recognize him for that rather than Frighteners or Starship Troopers. I didn’t have the balls to say what I really think of those movies anyway. He was even pretty patient when my friend couldn’t work the camera while making “aw shit” faces. Jake casually said, “That’s not a good face”.

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We figured it out finally. Looking back, he’s a pretty tall dude! I am right at 6 feet so he’s, what, 6.4? He must have been pretty annoyed to be stuck between Gary and the Halloween mood table that played Halloween 3’s Silver Shamrock commercial over and over. That’s his penance for The Hitcher 2. And yes, that is also the autograph I chose.

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Good ol’ Kirk Hammett, the meekest member of Metallica, stopped by to sign his new book. It’s no secret that Kirk has always been into the retro monster flicks and masks so it seemed right for him to be there. He’s definitely the coolest and after that dump-in-a-jar documentary, Some Kind of Monster, he out shined the two women, Lars and James. If Metallica has lost many of its original fans, Kirk has been the bridge to keep the others.

You couldn’t approach him. In order to talk with him you needed to sign up for another $100, weeks ahead of time. I get that but it’s still a little disappointing. The cool thing is they put him in plain site of the public and we could at least get a quick snapshot of him.

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Of all the people at this event, meeting  actor Jeffery Kramer was one of my favorite experiences. He was the nicest of people and out of the whole Jaws panel, he was the one I geeked out over the most. Sure Chrissy, the first shark victim, was cool but as a kid, I remember Deputy Hendricks the most. He went on for a long while about shooting Jaws one and two and how nuts Robert Shaw was to work with and what it was like to work on Halloween two. He’s just an over all nice person and he couldn’t believe I could recite all his lines in both of the Jaws movies. I, myself, couldn’t believe I actually let anyone know that. Especially him.

He was so flattered he signed the wrong character to the Halloween 2 picture and gave me another. I said it was more than okay because that just makes it a little cooler. He insisted so now I have two. This photo always makes me feel bad for poor Ben Tramer. Of all nights to go out on Halloween dressed in a pale William Shatner mask and mechanic overalls. Who knew Michael Meyers had that same costume idea too?

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May have gotten him to sign my Jaws 2 shirt as well. “The Beaches Are Closed”. Love it! He’s never signed a shirt before. Looking back I hope I didn’t creep him out. I was powered by bud light all weekend.

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Hey it’s Lea Thomson from Back to the Future, Red Dawn, Jaws 3-D and Howard the Duck! She was also sweet and still a pretty good lookin’ lady. My buddy DJ D is in love with her. He said something about me creating a diversion, a trunk and rope. I am not sure I was paying attention close enough. Maybe that’s for the better.

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This was the time when the show was wrapping up for the second day and all my friends had finally arrived. It was party time. I will admit you have never fully partied until you are at a Monster Party karaoke bar with my friends. It was called “Scareoke” but I kept saying “Spookeoke” by accident. I like “Spookeoke” better.

The whole night is a bit of a blur so that’s why I took a ton of pictures and put them into a slide show for your viewing pleasure. I made so many great friends on top of spending quality time with my buddies. It was horror. It was my best pals. Its was heavy metal. It was my movie and music idles. I was in heaven. Where else can you drink beer with Tyler Mane and Salacious Crumb? No where, that’s where!

Like I said, it’s all kind of blurry but I know it was a great time. Also, when I finally had enough, I decided to head up to the room and when the elevator opened and I got on I found myself between Michael Meyers and Leatherface.

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I asked if this was the murder elevator. They had a good laugh and I asked if I could get their picture because tomorrow it will just be another “no shit, there I was story” and they more than obliged. Tyler Mane is such a great guy. I remember that ride but looking through my pictures I never noticed…

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Ace Frehley was on it too! And should I know the girl in the middle?

I know my chronological order is a bit skewed but let’s pretend it’s not. The last day was one of buying all the stuff I didn’t feel like dragging around. And holy shit I bought a lot. In fact my home office looks like a fanboy’s spank room. I thought we were just going to kick around for a few hours before going back to the real world but when it comes to fun and horror, the party didn’t stop. I stayed another day just to take it all in again.

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Kane Hodder, ladies and gentlemen, the legend who played Jason in the Friday the 13th and Hatchet I and II. And that’s a real chokehold! Keep in mind, he plays Jason and is about three inches taller than me. Here it looks like we are the same height. I will admit, I was a bit surprised by that grip.

Again, what a cool guy and he checked my knowledge about Friday the 13th and the scene of the photo he signed. He specifically asked what scene it was and what happened. Thank God I knew the answer! I had him sign it to my pal who runs one of my favorite sites ever and NO SHIT Kane Hodder knew what it was. I feel a bit proud. I was shocked that a 58-year-old horror icon knew my buddy’s site and even said, “yeah, it’s a funny one. Last time I was there he was talking about Easter eggs and shit.” He must have gotten there by word of mouth or the numerous F13 posts. Who knows, but I got him an autograph as proof. Good for you, Mathew!

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Some $500 later in mech, I saw Jake the Snake Roberts at the buffet looking…sore. I feel for these wrestlers from my childhood. There’s no way their bodies and hearts can be fully functional. But it’s fun to know Jake and I have the same shirt! Speaking of wrestlers, you know I had to get this…

Ever been in the “Cobra Commander Chokehold” by Sgt. Slaughter himself? I have. It’s pretty surreal to think about but I had no intentions to even get a photo with the guy. I wanted this amazing poster but before I knew it, he came around the table and said, “hold still”. Ooooookay?

You have to admit that’s pretty badass. I appreciate the “At Ease, Will” addition. This has pretty much my 1987 loves wrapped into one poster. The only reservation I have is…

…the weird smiley dick. I think that would give most people the heebs.

The day kept getting better. Since the night before I had the pleasure  to hangout and befriend one of the best musicians to grace metal, Brent Hinds from Mastodon.

Brothers don’t shake hands, brothers gotta hug! It’s weird to talk with one of the greatest guitarists and musicians in the world. I saw him in Spokane in ’09 and got caught in a moshpit so tough, I lost both shoes. It was even cooler that he hung out with my friends the entire night and shot the shit. Great guy and so very humble.

I am getting tired of writing this so I will hurry up. Just a couple more neat-o events.

As the show started to wrap up, you could tell the celebrities were winding down too. I only had one person I had to see left that was on my list, Amelia Kinkade from Demons 1,2 and 3. She was another adolescent crush that I had to tell. Something happened though, and I got sidetracked and when I came back to the showroom, she was gone. I was really bummed out. Until…

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I went to a restaurant down the street to get dinner and there she was by herself, trying to order. Usually I would just leave it be but this was destiny. I sat down, ordered a beer and quietly said I was a big fan as I pretended to watch the basketball game. She scooted over a seat and we talked for a good hour. So so so cool. I bought her dinner and she gave me a couple of her books. She’s a huge animal activist and..(ahem)…animal psychic. It was the perfect end to a perfect weekend. But just when I thought it was over as I went back to the hotel, two mega horror movie stars most anyone would know were sitting at the hotel bar and asked if there was anything to get into on a Sunday in Charlotte. Just so happens I am buddy’s with Bill the owner at the Tremont Lounge and gave him a call. Wouldn’t you know it? There just happened to be a freak show there that night. And I gave them a ride there.

I so want to say who they are but I feel that by doing so it could harm them. I know no one reads this but if some bullshit were to happen, I would feel like total dog shit. Anyway, I had to leave them early because I just couldn’t do it anymore. The batteries were severely low at that point. I did get a call at 4am wondering where I was and how to get back to the hotel. Of course I picked them up. I’m a nice guy and these guys caused me nightmares for years.

So that was that! It was a great time all the way around. I am very thankful for my friends who made it all the more special. If you can, next year come to the Mad Monster Party in Charlotte. Do the whole thing. Live it up and experience everything. I absolutely had one of the best times of my life. Us horror fans have a weird bond. I guess that’s why there are no drama or comedy movie conventions. The weird people need a place to be themselves.

BONUS! Wanna see DJ D sing “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap “by AC/DC?

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Jelly Beans and What You Have to Know: Part 2

I think I have entered into a new low for VeggieMacabre with this idea. But still going forward I will just accept that once I have committed to do something, it’s best to see it through. There really isn’t a need for an introduction since the previous post was part one, so….

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Swedish Fish brand Jelly Beans! Or what I call, “Smorkgi Morks”. It isn’t a mystery by now that any candy brand that has a non-chocolate product is a jelly bean. These amazing fish that are enemy number one for all dentists, have gotten on the bandwagon for Easter. And really, they do taste just like their original candy but I don’t like that. I love the fish because, well, they are fish. It’s fun to eat a school of cherry-like fish but it’s not fun to eat a bunch of cherry-like deer turds.

They still boast “A Fat Free Food” as a part of the logo like the original form but I am suspicious of that. A serving size is thirty-three jelly beans with twenty-seven grams of sugar. That is how people get fat, no? What ever, they taste like processed ick and have nothing more than the novelty of being Swedish Fish caviar, if the imagination is worked real hard.

But will they pass the controlled explosion test?

Did you believe that? Yeah, Spielberg might not call. Anyway, the Swedish Fish Jelly Bean can take an explosion without a scratch. It also can not be digested. So have thirty-three of them!

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Aw shit, it’s getting crazy up in here! Starburst candy has a new spin on their ten thousand Jelly Bean flavors and presents us with “Crazy Beans”. Not too sure if crazy is the right term but rather “this is all we have left” because after years of bringing a new twist to Easter, they have to hide a jelly bean inside another jelly bean to pass the 2013 product test.

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I guess it works. Not for me but an average ten-year-old would agree that it is something cool. Also, a ten-year-old should be writing this. It has come to this, folks.

While I like the concept, the taste is average and I can’t tell what a pink shell over a blue center is supposed to really taste like. It’s a fruity sugar thing. But will it pass the golf iron drive test?

Yes! And nice distance too!

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Red Hots just will not stay in February where the belong! They creep into Christmas and now Easter. What’s next? And don’y you say Halloween or I’ll…I’ll…probably write about them. I just wish we could keep things civil between the holidays and not tread on sacred ground.

These jelly beans, however, are pretty amazing. Yeah, I know that cinnamon is cinnamon but these beans are just like those tiny red dots that can pass for a Sudafed. The funny thing about these are most jelly bean bags have the nutrition facts stating a serving size to be between twenty-five to thirty-five beans equaling twenty-seven grams of sugar. The serving size of these bad boys for the same amount is FOUR! Only four jelly beans allowed before your kids jump off the roof with a Hefty Bag as a parachute.  So keep that in mind before generously dumping them in an Easter basket.

I think these Jelly Beans are great but will they pass the LL Cool J test?

No. He was kind of a dick about it.

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Sweetarts! Should that be one ‘T’ or two? The design has me confused. Whatever, this year Wonka pushes Sweetarts on us too and to be honest, I think I have their recipe cracked. Take the Laffy Taffy jelly bean from the previous review and add Clorox Bleach to them and bingo, we have Sweetart Jelly Beans! I think I am getting too cynical with these reviews.

In all fairness, they do taste like the original small sour powder candy. The other good thing about Sweetart Jelly Beans is the packaging. I am attracted to vivid colors like an ocean-bottom dwelling fish. I can’t help but buy things that are bright blue and green. It’s literally eye candy. (click here)

These don’t need a test. They are what they are. And that is my excuse for not being creative.

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It has all led to this, ladies and gentlemen. Willy Wonka owns Easter. Our savior may have died for our sins but Wonka is reaping the rewards with the jelly bean to end all jelly beans. Nerd Bumpy Jelly Beans.

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Take a normal jelly bean then add a shit load of Nerd candies as a shell and you have a Nerd egg. It’s crazy how great of a concept this is and how much they look like durian fruit or a Gremlin cocoon. But buyer beware, eating too many of these will come with a hefty price. Just watch this taste test.

When I finally came down it was a bit confusing but sumbitch, those jelly beans win Easter. I learned a few things from that experience like for one, you never know how dirty your oven is until you shove your pillow in it and two, my fridge has a shit load of old blueberries under it.

Get a bag but make sure you have a safe-room and your diabetic socks on, these are a doozy.

That concludes the jelly bean review for 2013. I know there are more out there but frankly, I just don’t care. These were the ones that I chose to review. Please let me know what you think of them?

If you need me I will be moving my dentist appointment up three months.

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