Octoberific Day

Some days you just can’t help but recognize them for what they are. The chill in the air with no humidity, a brilliant blue sky that looks almost black the higher up you stare; how can one possibly be expected to work on a days like these? So, that’s exactly why I blew it off to have an adventure. And I highly recommend you do the same before the calendar flips to November.

It seems to happen like clockwork this time of the year. I warned everyone in the office months ago that during late September and October I will be throttling back on projects and travel but the opposite transpired. So far in the past three weeks I’ve been handed two multimillion dollar account opportunities and acquired them both, thrusting me into more than 60 hours of intense work that leaves me at night nursing a glass of wine while staring blankly at a computer screen. The drafts of Halloween posts number in the twenties but they are without wit or charm. It reads like a dull salesman with a bad back who is forced to enjoy a bouncy castle then told to write whimsically about it. The result is rushed, without heart and if excellent writers like J.W. Ocker and Matt Caracappa have taught me anything it is quality over quantity wins every time.

I needed this day to put myself and the Halloween Hell Show back on track. Between the massive workload and the unexpected hurricane, October is zipping by in a blur and the show has had serious neglect. If there was any hope in doing so a physical action was needed because in many ways, physical motion leads to a positive mental emotion. It’s science, man.

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First: The music. My choice to get into the perfect Halloween mood is absolutely the Halloween Pandora station. For what ever reason, it seems to have been contoured to exactly what I like. A bit of oldies, a bit of the 80’s, some soundtrack classics and even some spooky jazz. I get up early and crank it up.

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Second: Fill the crock pot up! If the mood of the season needs to hit on all notes, the house has to smell right and there is nothing better than long slow cooking to accomplish that. My go-to choice is always pot roast. I believe I have perfected this one from years of watching The Food Network. Taking recipes from various chefs and putting in a little of my own additions (hot peppers), it’s hard to argue with this one. Also, I learned the use of corn starch for gravy. I am growing up! This recipe and crock pot speed will engulf your home with the best fall smell imaginable and combined with $50 Yankee candles, it’s an olfactory orgy of Halloween.

IMG-7700 Third: Grab a friend and seek out the most sincere roadside pumpkin patch. This one is a biggie. Seeing how I don’t have many friends who can take off on a workday afternoon, I had to enlist my dogs. Summer seemed the most eager and while the others would be happy to adventure with me, she is the one I could count on to not puke in my new car.

IMG-7697 I have been reconnoitering the area so I knew of a few pumpkin patches to visit but there was one in particular that demanded my visit. It was the perfect blend of nostalgia and country making every picture look like an airline travel magazine spread. The day was getting later and the shadows grew long in the orange light. Summer was trying to take in all the excitement as best as she knew how but after some frustrating photo attempts, the strain was too much and she succumb to what a lab puppy must do. She jumped into the apple bin spilling about forty-plus apples. Cost: $37.40.

IMG-7695IMG-7720 All-in-all, it was a nice trip to the pumpkin patch with a girl who still needs to grow out of her impulsion. I now have more apples than I know what to do with so it looks like my neighbor will have plenty for pies. I’ll just skip the fact they were paw selected.

Forth: Get Halloween junk food! After the trip to the pumpkin patch I decided I needed some other items and definitely fall beer if I was to cap off the day properly. Perhaps some firewood for the outdoor fire pit as well? I left the car running with Marylin Manson covering Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas songs on the radio while Summer was in timeout for her apple episode.

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I don’t know what happened but I was on such a Halloween-High I passed by the Halloween junk food display and went mad. We all go a little mad at times, right? I began shoveling in everything that had a witch, was orange and black, gummy or chocolate, both evil and benign. I must have looked like I was on a grocery store game show and the clock was ticking. The last time I went this carefree in a grocery aisle was when I ate a death wing challenge and emptied half the anti-acid shelf.

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Before we went home we stopped at my favorite little beer bar which happens to be dog friendly. Still a little wary of Summer’s puppy-like impulsion, her lead was a little shorter. The people there are always so charming and the fact Halloween 4 was on the TV, the decorations were displayed with heart, it was clearly the perfect last stop of the afternoon.

When we got home from an afternoon of fall scenes and adventure, the house smelled like heaven. I unloaded the haul and started the backyard fire while sipping on a fall IPA. I made the conscious effort to stop and listen to the breeze blowing leaves from the trees, the crackle of the fire and kids off in the distance playing outside. The dim orange glow illuminated the yard and I started to truly embrace this time of the year. I needed this.

IMG-8048 Later that evening my buddy called and asked what I was up to and I told him about the kickass autumn day I had including Summer’s assault on an apple bin. But we were not done yet! The new Halloween movie with Jamie Lee Curtis opened that night and I had completely forgot! It was as if Samhain orchestrated this entire day to give back the spirit so many were trying to suck out. I got on Fandango and holy shit, the 10:30 showing looked completely empty.

After dinner and fifteen cowtails (candy not the actual cow’s tail), I waited on Paul to arrive to have a pumpkin beer before heading out to see the new Halloween and end this Octoberific day the best way possible. I blared Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party” from my ridiculous office and probably posted too many embarrassing pictures on social media but I didn’t care. I was going to see Halloween on the big screen for the first time in twenty years with my good friend.

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It was the perfect end to the perfect day. Well, perfect is a strong word. There are always people I want to share these days with but if you can’t be around people, a cute lab is the next best thing. I’ll post more on Halloween if not to at least acknowledge the time capsule for the 2018 Halloween Hell Show. I liked it. I liked it a lot.

I challenge you to get out there and have an Octoberific day. Just embrace it all, even if it’s sitting in the park sipping on cider. Don’t let the daily drudge steal this away because that drudge is here all year-long. It can wait.

Halloween Must Go On

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Hey there! So, if you follow me on social media you may have heard about my recent run-in with the ghost of Issac Newton. Last week I was negotiating what I thought was a pretty easy obstacle at the top of a few stairs and didn’t quite make the very last few inches resulting in a pretty big crash. I managed to fall, not down, but over about six steps, knee first onto the pavement, shattering my left patella (kneecap). It was one of those injuries that you immediately know you have done something really terrible. The muscles stop working, the body goes numb and the breath is sucked out of you all at once and you basically go into damage assessment mode. At least I do, anyway. It has been a number of years since I have been injured to this degree but back then I basically had a mental checklist like a T-100 Terminator of everything that is working and not working. It’s nice to know I still have that emergency mental rational thought available. It helps to not have a panic attack like the old lady on the bathroom floor demonstrating why a “Life Alert” bracelet is so important.

I ain’t gonna lie to you guys, this sucks. It sucks to be in this much pain from simply sneezing or having to give yourself a pep-talk to just get out of a car. There is no cast since it is basically the shield for the joint so it is exposed to any accidental bumps causing an involuntary Wookie sound or two.  Worse, finding yourself on a downhill speed-hobble with crutches because no one is ever good on crutches. There is no doubt surgery is on the way but until this leg’s swelling calms down and the travels finally wrap, I have to push it off a little while. It all just kinda sucks.

I am bound and determined not to waste this year’s Halloween Hell Show on a late-in-the-season catastrophe especially after all the cool travels and exciting finds I lived through this season. I mean, some of the places I was able to visit were insane and I have to take you there. To let this slide off into the “Further” because of work and a shattered knee cap would be criminal. It has actually bothered me way more than a normal person should be bothered since all 10 people who read this probably don’t care anyway. My buddy Matt from the site Dinosaur Dracula coined the phrase years ago, “Time wants to chop off my dick and feed it to Minutes the dog”. It is true that Time is no friend to any of us so that is why we must do everything NOW, because Minutes is always begging for more.

I have no doubt that this injury will be nothing more than a positive experience. Injuries have two directions with a person especially the older they get. They can either cripple you or make you stronger. They can make you timid and weak or light a fire in you to double down and spring you back into action like a little memo from the Universe saying “Hey, we noticed you have been too complacent, recently. Here is a challenge to grow.” Challenge accepted.

Now on with the show.

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This year I was able to visit Japan, different states in the US and the Halloween Queen of Queens, Scotland. The gratitude I have for just being in these geographical locations, touching the stone of a 1,000 year old structure or talking with locals over a pint of beer, can’t be properly expressed in words. The best I can do is share this with you through video and stories because I want this to be preserved forever. I make it a point to make friends anywhere I travel and I made some pretty amazing ones this year. I kept repeating “how lucky am I” this entire season and that feeling still hasn’t diminished one ounce.

Today I am taking you to the famous Glenfriars Kirkland Cemetery in Edinburgh, Scotland. This old cemetery has a past so dark and evil, it has to be seen to be believed. I first take you there in the day time and then (after I missed my train back to Aberdeen) back at midnight while I walked alone in what is said to be the most haunted cemetery in the world! I am kinda weird like that.

Keep an eye out later this morning for this one and this afternoon we tone it down as I talk about little people in Halloween shows. I’ll explain later.

13 Days Of Christmas

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It’s 13 days till Christmas! It’s practically here!

That’s right, you freaks, we are creeping our way down to the day of Christmas when we get loaded on eggnog, open gifts and watch The Christmas Story 12 times in a row and smash the hand of anyone who dares change the channel. (Sorry about last year, Grandma) With the busy life and time of your’s truly and the crash landing of the Halloween Hell Show, I figured committing 13 days is way more doable than an entire month. But don’t fret, we have lots in store and 13 videos too! I can say that with certainty since most are already shot.

OH! I am also doing a few horror gift giveaways to brighten your Christmas season. Each will be different and announced on Twitter so if you don’t follow me, you might want to. Details will follow on the first prize announced tomorrow.

So, get ready for the unholy number of days as we countdown to Christmas day and have the time of our life doing it. Bring it in. I have hugs for you.

Until the official start (late tonight) spread your love of the holiday and checkout Matt’s annual holiday fantasmo over at DinosaurDracula. It’s tradition, mang.

 

 

A Visit To Camp Crystal Lake

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A few weeks ago I took a trip up to North New Jersey for a meeting with a client and was able to tie it into an awesome weekend visiting Jay from The Sexy Armpit and Matt from Dinosaur Dracula. I have been buds with these guys for years and now that I think about it, a whole decade! Jay was such an incredible host and the fun we all had together really can’t be matched. There is some kind of magic that takes place when three Halloween nuts get together with booze and tacos. A lot of tacos.

While getting to see the magic behind Jay and Matt’s genius was something that can keep a long time fan on a high for quiet some time, I want to talk about a trip we took that Saturday. The season had not officially begun but the Purple Stuff podcast was well under way entering its third show that evening. The air was still summer but in our hearts it was cool, gray and a touch spooky. We were on our way to the filming location of a much-loved movie, Friday the 13th which was located about an hour northwest in  a town called Blairstown.

On the way there we listened to Jay’s amazing Halloween soundtrack and I was able to geek-out listening to Matt and Jay discuss ideas, Halloween news and nostalgic stories. Without getting into details, it was a treat for a longtime reader. We took the rental car and Jay was able to fight the notorious New Jersey drivers without incident and got us to the little town unscathed. And looking back, it was a pretty easy drive in comparison to other places I have lived, especially on a Saturday afternoon.

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Right away we started to recognize certain buildings and landmarks from a visual study Jay and I did earlier in the morning while watching Friday the 13th. One of the first spots was the diner which was a biggie on the list. Before we left, we all agreed that pie and coffee had to be eaten there, preferably in the spot where the camp head counselor sat before he was gutted. But that goal proved to be a little lofty. When we pulled in to the parking lot we could see a silhouette of a waitress waving us off. Jay was only trying to turn around but still there was something weird about that diner and although there were definitely people inside, it didn’t seem open.

Pulling out of the parking lot everyone decided we would hit the Diner on the way out and head to the town center to take photos and talk to the locals. But that’s when it started to get even weirder. There weren’t really any locals around to talk to! It was as if there was a huge festival in a neighboring town and everyone went there. It was a few days after I finished reading Stephen King’s Salem Lot and brother, it was almost identical to the description. Walking past the empty little shops and business, I couldn’t help but imagine sleeping vampires covered in musty tarps slumbering in the back rooms. I am sure everyone else was thinking the town was just boring.

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Nothing has changed since the filming back in 1980. NOTHING! The bank is still in stone, the little road that the doomed hitchhiking girl strolled down is there and even the store front Crazed Ralph gummed, “You’re all dooomed!” is still there in an untouched perfection. It was everything a fan of the Friday the 13th fan could ask for.

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While taking an uncomfortably quiet stroll through the fifty yards of the town center we did come upon a thrift shop. Bingo! Well, kind of. It was a weird little shop and only certain things were for sale. Judging from the quality of the stuff, I don’t know what they were holding out for. But it was still neat to see Matt and Jay do their thing which make great future posts we all love.

We got some pictures, I took video but really, within thirty minutes we saw it all. It was time to try the Diner again. As strange as our first encounter was before, it got even stranger when we tried to go in. There were clearly people inside but the doors were locked. It actually didn’t even seem like a fully operating diner but rather a crappy rundown place full of crockpots and hotplates to appease the ragged local. Again, the jerk of a waitress shooed us away from the window. So we just walked across the street to a tavern.

This was a welcome break but when we walked in it felt like the record scratched and everyone turned around to see the “outlanders”. We sat down and ordered a few drinks and fried artichokes while conversing with a sweet waitress. Again, our eyes scanned the surroundings for signs that this place was in the movie and Matt brought to mind that this place could be the tavern from F13 Part 2. A quick search on the phone led to nothing because there was absolutely no service in the bar. So I ventured outside to find out that no, F13 Part 2 was filmed in Connecticut. Bummer.

After a rest we returned to the car in search of the crown jewel, Camp Crystal Lake! The real spot is a boy scout camp called “Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco” and believe it or not, parents send their kids there. All we wanted to see was the lake and possibly recreate the Jason/canoe scene. But there was a problem.

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The winding road through the dense woods soon became littered with “No Trespassing” signs as we got closer to the camp. By the time we reached the camp entrance it was as welcoming as Check Point Charlie dividing East and West Europe. It was evident that if you even thought of getting out of your car, there was a good chance of getting shot, arrested, eaten by a bear or having your arm ripped off and beaten to death by Jason. All things that we were not willing to spoil the weekend with. But we did find a creek that certainly came from the lake! That is something, right?

Did I forget to mention we were quite possibly chased out-of-town by a crazed person in a pickup? That happened too. Jay is a pretty big dude so at least if things turned sour he was on our side. Still, it added a bit of psychopath to a setting that needed one.

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So, we left the sleepy little town of Blairstown and headed back to civilization richer for having seen the location of one of our favorite movies. On the way home we stopped at a dollar store and I saws in person Matt and Jay and their search for Halloween gold. The day was one to remember and started this Halloween season off with a bang.

Later that night, after a few hundred drinks, I tried to film an intro for the video from earlier that day and boy did I muck that up! I could not for the life of me remember the name Blairstown. I kept wanting to say Birketsville or Blairsville or Chicago. Anything but the right name, Blairstown, so Jay came in and saved the day. What a natural.

Big thanks to Dinosaur Dracula and The Sexy Armpit! Fantastic people and great friends. Now watch me fuck this video up six ways to Sunday.

 

 

The Halloween Spook Show 2014 Begins!!!

And so it begins.

Welcome and thank you for joining in on this insane journey as we celebrate together the best season of the year. I have planned this one out since, I don’t know, last November? There are certain people in this world who have a connection to the strange and unusual. I, myself, am strange and unusual so the duty of writing, filming and photographing everything this Halloween season is a job which I revel in. But what does that mean, you ask?

Well, here is a tease of the season ahead:

Spooky NC!

Holy cats, ya’ll. I have been around the block since the beginning of Spring to film a lot of scary locations and real haunts from North Carolina all the way down to Mobile, Alabama. I know the title is geographically misleading but after I started the page, I couldn’t change the name. To find the past Spooky NC trips just click HERE!

Horror Business!

You’ve seen my Beers with Movie Sauce show, haven’t you? This Halloween it will return but with shorter episodes because, lets face it, no one is going to sit through a fifteen minute video about a movie they have seen. Brevity is the key to comedy. Expect this to shine closer to October in a countdown to the best horror movies you may or may not have experienced.

Celebrity Guests!

I won’t spoil the surprise but this season there will be awesome joint bloggers and guests who many of you are familiar with. I am that kid who shouts what the gift is before the other person has a chance to open it so I will stop here.

BREIIIIEEE IT’S KILLING ME!!!

Tales Of The Macabre!

Remember back in the day when I used to write long stories of life experiences? Yeah, I saved a few just for this season. Like the time I ruined my first grade Halloween recital in front of the whole school and my parents. I think I am brave enough to talk about that now. This is my version of therapy.

Reviews!

Ho-Boy I have spent some cheddar this year. I have lots and lots to talk about when it comes to silly Halloween retail that you must buy. From food to beer to a headless horseman costume, it’s all on the table this year. There’s a reason I bought two mega hard drives and a production studio. Shit, I am in the middle of building a bar to film my “Halloween Cocktail” show. Trust me, it’s fucking stupid but oh so fun.

Friends!

And it wouldn’t be Halloween if I didn’t talk about DinosaurDracula, Review the World, Sexy Armpit and the like. They kill it when it comes to this season and please, please, please, support Dino Drac and the awesomeness that he brings to this Halloween season by subscribing to the Fun Packs. They are so worth it and each box is like having 1991 spring in your living room, knocking over furniture, flipping out the cat and then crash through the window only to distantly sound car alarms and sirens. It’s crazy. Click here to spend your money on something amazing.

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I can’t thank you enough for coming along with me down this dark and scary road. I promise it will be fun. I PROMISE! The postings will be pretty regular throughout the week. I am not going to tie myself to a midnight deadline for everyday because of that whole career thing but it will be busy here. Lots of videos and tons of articles to pass the time in your cubicle. I know what you do at work.

Let the show begin.

Beers with Movie Sauce: Jaws 2

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I promise I’m not going to say “just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water”.

Well, shit.

Okay, so it really was not safe to go back in the water back in 1978 because Universal Studios cashed in on the cash cow that was Jaws; the original summer blockbuster. As sequels usually go, they can’t hold a candle to the original but with Jaws 2, I would say they made a damn good attempt. Sure, it a silly premiss that a monster shark came to seek vengeance on a small beach community  only a few years after the first monster shark had its head blown off but hey, life is weird like that. Just ask New Jersey.

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So yeah, I am yapping about Jaws 2 but more importantly I want to climb the rafters with a bullhorn and call to prayer that the fine people of Narragansett beer have released a retro-throwback LIMITED EDITION lager that was featured in the first Jaws film. The can is in its original colors from 1975 and was actually crushed by Robert Shaw who played Captain Quint. I have drunk many cans of bud lights in the Army and college just for the purpose of reenacting that famous scene between him and Richard Dreyfus.

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Also, I wanted to take this quick minute to brag about the time I met Jeffery Kramer who played Deputy Hendrix, Martin Brody’s second in command. Such a nice guy and had a blast asking him all the lame-o questions a geek like me could ask. He signed a shirt (claiming that to be his first) but he also signed a couple of autographs to include a very special one. The autopsy scene in Halloween 2 but accidentally signed is “Deputy Hendrix”, his Jaws character.

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Doh! I doubt it increases the value in real life but for the dumb collection in my office, it’s priceless.

So, please watch and sorry in advance about the crazy noises I make after eating this insanely hot, shark themed, hot sauce. It is a doozy. Honest, it will light your face.

 

Review the World and I Chat about Root Beer and C.H.U.D. 2

It all began in a far away land called Moscow, Idaho. I was a stressed-out student in a medical program the University of Idaho had just flung together called Neuro Applied Science and it took every inch of my soul. Not to mention working full-time at a sales job with a boss that was more of a kid than a leader. The year was 2009 and it was a cold and snowy night. I sat at my kitchen table taking a break from the madness I called “Tuesday” and escaped to the wonderland of a site that was X-Entertainment. A site that was full of humor, nostalgia and news on what Slurpee Kmart had available. Completely me.

There was a small community of people who would comment on various posts and articles and link their own sites to share. That is where I found Brian from Review the World dot com. Immediately I was blown away. Brian’s positivity, sense of adventure and zany trips to explore just about anywhere had me entertained for years. It is impossible to be in a bad mood after a trip with that guy.

Over the years we became pretty good pals taking part in joint reviews and even some projects with Matt from Dinosaur Dracula (X-Entertainment). Then, last month, Brian came down to North Carolina to visit and it was beyond a treat to have him over. Such a genuine dude of character and soul. It is great to know there are truly good people out in the world and it makes the trips on YouTube with Brian even better now that I know him.

So here is a part one of “Beers with Movie Sauce” featuring Brian from RtW. We chat about CHUD 2 and my favorite root beer, Abita. I had a few beers since we just returned from a party/BBQ so ignore my rambling and the way I say “like” every other statement.

A Quick Little Update In HD!

Hey. I am sitting in a meeting listening to people who suck at product support try and talk me into selling their dog shit. Little do they know I am talking to you. They probably think I am taking excessive notes but, no, I am writing a vlog intro to tell you about my last couple weeks and this kick ass new toy I bought just to make my production value increase. Even if by a nose.

Later tonight you will watch, for the first time ever, a joint “Beers with Movie Sauce” show with Brian from Review the World. I can’t tell you how awesome this is for me as a long time fan of his work. So much fun and so great to know awesome people.

And that’s what it’s all about, Charlie Brown!

BUY ALL J.W. OCKER’S books here!!!!

FLTO: McD’s Brought Back Hot Mustard Or Not?

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It’s back! Or maybe it’s left over and on its way out? Maybe I went to asleep and fell into a coma and this is a dream about mustard? Maybe this is an alternative reality and mustard is the currency and dogs are our masters? What ever the situation may be, today we are pointing out that RIGHT NOW you can dip your nuggets in the 1983 original, McDonald’s Hot Mustard. This sauce has a lot of lovers and a few years ago when the corporate restaurant giant announced they were pulling the Hot Mustard from the lineup, people flipped.

In fact, there were hundreds of petitions to bring this sauce back. Maybe it was nostalgia because this was one of the four original sauces when McNuggets were introduced? Perhaps McD’s stepped on the balls of the small percentile of consumers who go ape-shit when debates over which Evil Dead is better and have enough time to get upset over mustard? Regardless, McDonald’s had concluded the numbers were not holding in comparison to the others sauces so, in true Burger College fashion, they opted to pull it. Or did they?

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Today, the mustard is alive and well or at least at this particular NC restaurant. Google searches are loaded with pleas to bring back Hot Mustard as well as warnings of its impending doom ranging from 2012 all the way to February of this year. However, there is very little fanfare for its revival. That leads one to ask, is it really back or are these Hot Mustards the last remnants of the glory years and when they are gone they are gone forever? Or, did McDonald’s decide to let a few states keep their Hot Mustard to appease the many furious fans of condiments? I’m not a betting man (yes I am) but I suspect the latter is the case.

On another note, WHAT THE FUCK DID THEY DO TO THE HAPPY MEAL BOX? That looks like the last vision you see in bed before an ax falls between your eyes. What were they thinking? It looks like the Olympic mascot should the Summer Olympics come to Iraq! Those murderous eyes scream something evil in backwards latin. I don’t like it and I would prefer it if they brought back the Fry Guys. No one in their right mind can argue with Fry Guys.

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I did have the great idea to put the box in the guest bathroom toilet. Now we wait.

Sorry this was a shoddy FLTO blog. I felt I needed to share the news that maybe you too can find Hot Mustard. And if you do, ask for 100. You never know when it will be gone for good.

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