Life and Careers

There is something to be said for reflective pause and the time out in our busy lives to say, “things could be a whole lot worse”. This is the time of the year that brings out the best in us and we wish peace on earth, good will towards men. It seems pretty incredible given the current state of the world, no?

Personally the Holidays have gone from something I cherish and look forward to, to something I wish would hurry up and be done with. A life choosing career goals over starting a family has its drawbacks when you have to be around family members who tell you things like, “You’re not getting any younger” or “Is there something maybe you want to announce at this year’s family Christmas dinner?”.

I am glad the extended family are fans of the hit show Modern Family and have taken that weird but positive step to be more comfortable with the homosexual community but I have to burst their speculation bubble and state I am not gay and very much attracted to the opposite sex. In some ways I think that being gay would be easier for them to understand.

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These past few years I have given my entire life to a career. I am not just saying that, I mean my waking hours have been devoted to all things work. It has cost me relationships, friends, I have fallen out of shape and drinking stress away seemed like my only escape to deal with the competitive nature of my work. But I also loved it! I loved it because I was good at it and I felt like the company really took care of its people by valuing who the are, believing in what they said and celebrating their successes.

But as the business grows, that personal touch no longer means so much. The celebrations turn into “that’s fine but what about this?” and that after work cocktail now takes three to ease the burden of what comes tomorrow. It’s just the normal part of being in executive sales. You’re a thirty day hero; nothing more and nothing less. I am lucky to have this position and the experiences that it has provided me, however. That much is invaluable.

That said, you cannot let work take away your…you. So, I have decided to venture out as my own boss. Life is so short and we have to take it by the balls or other wise there will be nothing to show for it. I watch guys in their late 50’s compete with me in the field and I don’t want to be that when I am their age. They wear a face that expresses a betrayal in life and no amount of money can buy back time.

So what now? I still have a responsibility to complete certain projects at my job right now so I won’t be leaving just yet. I love my clients/customers and have a true dedication to seeing they are well taken care of. But as I do that I am sharpening my business skills and slowly regaining my sense of humor and creativity. It has taken a beaten over the years so I need a bit of time to just remember. Thank God for this blog to practice on!

So that is it. When I slip these surly bonds of Earth my book will sure be a strange one. But a nice one.

Happy Thanksgiving. I am very much thankful for you.

 

 

 

Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

I know it sounds lame or lazy to come back over and over again with the excuse of why there hasn’t been much in the way of material for VeggieMacabre lately but no matter what, its true. Work has taken a turn to the extreme with my new position and it’s easy to control your own future but when you take on other people’s future, things get serious quickly. Good leaders inspire, not fire. Lately I have been feeling pretty low for failing others when they have not achieved the minimum requirements for employment in my office. They have failed because I have failed them. That is what my years in the military has taught me. Unfortunately, people above me have never learned those lessons or have been in situations to acquire that skill so I work with what is given to me.

That said, I have really missed what brought me so much joy for so many years. I am not the greatest writer in the world or the most patient of a proof reader, but over these years I have connect, met and become great friends with people through this very odd blog. I have tried different ideas and even platforms but at the end of the day I still comeback to the basics. It’s what works and it is a love.

In order to make anything a priority, you have to invest. Whether that is time or money, the investment makes the hobby as rewarding as it is fun. So I have done it. I have a separate studio now for everything in the works. Not only that but I have reached out and have invited others to become part of the show. These buddies are both local friends to people hundreds of miles away. All are an a key player in something that will be entertaining for all.

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I know what you are thinking, “yeah Will/Bill, we’ve heard this before but then you disappear and then a random post about a shitty taco pops up and then nothing for a month.”

You’re right, I have been threatening long enough. But I am now ready to leap into the unknown with a fully and heavily invested commitment. I hope you like. Now watch this teaser for my long time project, “The What The Hell Show”. I am so excited and man, this will be fun!

 

Second Verse

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The fog of a crazy October has lifted and in its wake of black and orange we now come to a sea of green and red. It is time to toss the Jack-o-Lanters aside and look to nervous turkeys under tall pines which we will chop down, drag in the house, place in water and electrify. This time of the year blends two holidays into one and I, for one, am okay with that.

If there is one thing that being a senior account executive has taught me, don’t over promise your hobbies. The career has a crazy way of stepping in front of grandious plans like a cat photobombing the camera as I practice my cartwheels for YouTube. As hard as I tried to film, edit, buy, review, travel and photo, a new project with over-ambitious people reared the head of un-fun work and most of October was late nights and work trips. I am not complaining but I think we have all been there if this is the medium for recreation.

Now that my sad sack story is done, I am ready for two months of festive fun. And there will be fun! Expect the first ghost..er..video by midnight tonight. I have found a grocery store near me that goes shit-house mad with awesome Christmas party fun foods to review plus libations to cause embarrassment during the company holiday party. I have a bar to post these great eggnog drink concoctions now.

I Remember Halloween

Candy apples and razor blades
Little dead are soon in graves
I remember Halloween” – The Misfits

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This 2014 Halloween season did not get fully going like I had hoped. I want to say it was because I have finally grown up into a mature adult and waxing my Porsche, day trading and Saturday evening book clubs have taken the place of watching Halloween for the 5,723rd time, but that is just not the case. The real truth is my company is slightly restructuring and that metamorphosis begins with people in my position. Since September I have been in at least eleven states and times two in hotel rooms. Going out to business dinners is about as thrilling as pressure washing the side of the house and if I hear the acronym “EHR” one more time, I might tie my wrist to my testicles and enter into a Frisbee-Golf competition. Lets just say, work has come and killed my Great Pumpkin.

Looking back, however, it hasn’t been a total loss. There were some spooky trips, met some amazing people and done some amazing things all in the name of The Spook Show. The great novelist, J.W Ocker, toured me around Boston, I flew down to Key West and hung out with a real live voodoo doll named Robert, visited my buddy Travis from Bayou Babylon and his wonderful wife, Crystal to shoot some creepy scenes in a graveyard, made a cameo in The Sexy Armpit’s Halloween Show, had Ben (Juggernaut Cave), Brian (Review the World) and DJ D (Retro Ghouls and Shocks) over for a weekend to review tons of spooky crap and well as Blair Witch 2 and last but not least, I was the guest host on the great DJ D’s radio show, Dark Entries.

Oh, also was blown away by Matt’s annual Halloween countdown over at Dinosaur Dracula.

I guess when you list it out, it’s been a pretty busy season even though I feel like it was half-hearted thanks to such a busy schedule. I still have lots to cram in like a Q&A with a give away from J.W. Ocker and his new novel plus a look at the amazing artist Thomas Boatwrite. I bought the coolest commission ever and am excited to push his stuff to the next level.

OH! And mother frickin’ Final Cut Pro crashed so many times I have finally given up on it. I’m done. It’s a neat piece of software but a twenty-minute video shouldn’t take eight hours to export. And Apple wants me to buy it again for $300. Nope!

So, enough with the pouty puss talk. I am sorry for an empty Spook Show this year, 2014. Work really was the boogeyman. I owe you something…but what?

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Hrm…I have one Pop Rocks Pumpkin Patch Orange left that I was saving to put in the company coffee pot on Friday but I think I owe it to you. But how?

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Oh I do love you. I will dump this in my three-hour old cup of coffee and drink this just for my penance for a below average Halloween season. It’s all for you, Damian! It’s all for you!

Okay, I am coming right back.I just wanted to get this off my chest and say I’m a little sorry. Just a little.

 

Halloween At Ollie’s!

Today I was at a work lunch with a few clients and the subject of Halloween came up. Of course, the one person at the office who knows I have an alter ego for all things like Halloween was there too. It took her 0.0067 seconds to erupt into a high squeal, “WILL LOVES HALLOWEEN AND EVEN HAS A SITE ALL ABOUT IT!”

Not cool.

I smiled and tried to quickly change the topic but it was too late. Before I knew it I had all sorts of non-work related questions about movies, sexy Jason costumes and where to buy the best candy. I hate letting my personal and nerd-o life get out in the open in a work environment but the black Halloween cat was out of the bag now so I had to go with it. It was fun and a nice break from the financial speak.

I don’t know how it evolved but the discussion soon turned to the bargain store, Ollie’s. I have a love/hate relationship with Ollie’s. I love that it is a huge discount store where you can buy inflatable yard ornaments, a shirt and an entire reference guidebook to Middle Earth under one roof but I hate whenever I go into the store there is always some person who ruins my day. It doesn’t matter when, it always happens. Last time, there was a lady who tried to shoplift and was tackled in the pavement by another woman leading to a lot were cops. The time before that, some really obese girl pulled her pants down in one of the aisles.

So, I refuse to go back. Sorry, Ollie, but whenever I drive past your store all I can think about is screaming rednecks and the biggest ass I’ve ever seen. I’m just not ready yet but I had an idea.

On the drive back to the office we made a detour to Ollie’s. I gave my work mate $20 and asked her to buy that amount in Halloween junk to review while I stayed in the car. If you spill my hobby in front of clients, you have to be apart of it. It’s only fair. She picked four items and now I will review them in realtime without adding another scarring event to my life.

These are her choices.

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Okay, first up in is the “Eight Is Too Much” wig from Rubie’s Character Wigs™ for $9.99. Researching the “Eight Is Too Much” points to a late seventies TV drama about a news anchor with eight kids. That’s a pretty obscure reference for a wig but we are talking about finds at Ollie’s so I will give it a pass.

I am not sure the name “Eight Is Too Much” wig is the right one. This looks more like a “May I See The Manager” wig or “White Zinfandel Tonight?” wig.

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Hrm. I am not sure I pulled this one off. I feel like it’s either a Flock Of Seagulls wig or something else. I just can’t put my finger on it. It was someone on TLC who was part responsible for turning a channel about discovery and dinosaurs into total garbage and self loathing. OH!

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NAILED IT! It’s that total bitch from John And Kate Plus Eight! You remember the show, the couple who ruined their lives and damaged their kids for fame and money? Man, I guess we cracked the code for the name, “Eight Is Too Much”. Eight was too much.

I give this find 8 out of 10 severed Freddy fingers. Eight is a theme here.

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Gummy Boo Bands for $2.49! I have seen these around and didn’t notice they were edible. Kids these days are into all sorts of incredibly stupid shit. But, to be fair, all kids are stupid to me. With all the awareness wristbands out there I didn’t know there was finally one you can eat. That would be a great one to raise awareness for hunger! (I’m a dick)

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GROSS! SICK! This thing feels like actual He-Man slime right out of the can. I know it is an orange gummy but my mind goes to the smell of Mattel slime. Plus, and waaaay worse, it gets your wrist sticky. I can stand a lot of discomforts in life but one that I can’t stand in the least is being sticky. It makes me want to cry and I am an ugly crier.

I give Boo Bands 3 out of 10 dead chicks.

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Let’s see what else is in this bag-o-crap from Ollie’s. I am beginning to think I am missing a lot from my Ollie’s boycott. That is a Review the World stomping ground for sure! I might have to go back and risk seeing a human grand canyon if there are more great finds in this bag.

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Ho Ho Hee Hee, it’s Juicy Oozer Gummy Vampires and Gummy Werewolves from Black Forrest® for $2.29! I love Black Forrest gummy candy. Some people are Haribo gummy fans and others are Black Forrest. The best way to compare this divide is to compare those who prefer Red Vines to Twizzlers. It’s not a huge difference to most but to a few it is like Communism vs Capitalism. Then there are the Swizzler fuckers. No one likes them.

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I can’t say enough about these. They have great shapes, you can recognize flavors, the vampires have tangy blood and the packaging is unreal. The fonts and art would make Madd Matt do the Charleston on Poe’s grave. This hits on all Halloween cylinders so please, go get thirty bags. They will be worth thousands in future currency once Samhain arrives and vanquishes all those who put out Christmas stuff during October.

10 out of 10 Jason Voorhees head lumps.

Last but not least! I hope.

Um…I don’t know what this girl was thinking and I don’t know if I want to go down this road. I have been running VeggieMacabre since the summer of 2007 and kept this as close to PG as possible. I know there has been a few times when my language hasn’t been perfect. Okay, more than a few but I still keep it clean. I just don’t know if this will translate so lets just approach this as the mature adults we are. It’s a Halloween costume prop.

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Well…isn’t that special? It’s an “Open Wound Sleeve” from those sick assholes a Paper Magic Group™ for $3.29. I guess this is supposed to be a wound that you put on your arm but my mind keeps going elsewhere. Remember that scene in The Gate when the lead protagonist had an eyeball form on his hand? I guess it could be the same principle.

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Oh Hell. I guess if you squint you eyes from afar it would look like a wound or a gash… GOODNIGHT FOLKS!

0.003 out of 10 Michael Myers Eye Brows

Ollie’s gets a better grade from me than I would usually give it and that is probably because I stayed in my car. I love the concept of bargain shopping because I am the type of guy who would buy a tub of ten thousand cheese puffs when looking for motor oil and a place like Ollie’s would certainly allow me to do that.

Great scores if you exclude the gyno-sleave! I need to keep that girl away from me at the office. (Just kidding!)

I am off to shoot a very special “Beers with Movie Sauce” for the Spook Show so stick around! I am all ramped up and ready for the fun so thanks for hanging with me. See you tonight!

 

 

 

 

Jumping From One To The Next

It was a great run we had this Halloween season. Even though I was away on business the last week and traveled the whole day of Halloween, it was one for the books. I definitely want to thank you for hanging around and being apart of the celebration. I might not know you personally but I definitely feel we shared a special time this season. So bring it in and let’s hug.

NOW…no more talk about Halloween until next August. We have important work to do.

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Welcome to the next fun and from now until December 25th, we will be talking about all things Christmas and Thanksgiving. I know you might think it’s a little early but in my mind, if the stores are pushing chocolate covered reindeer, it’s okay for me too. I have put together a pretty extensive list to cover and much fun will be had.

You may have noticed the Canada Dry Cranberry Ginger Ale above with my pot roast backdrop. I am not sure if this is a seasonal beverage or if it is a constant but to me, this is only a November-December drink. That always makes something a little more special. Just like drinking a cool glass of eggnog at a 4th of July pool party probably would lessen the feeling come this time of the year. Not to mention that’s kind of gross.

Since Cranberry Ginger Ale has been on the market for a few Christmas seasons, I don’t feel the need to review it but I will say that you need to have this in your fridge. If nothing more, its color screams Yuletide.

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Now this is what I want to review. I heard about Sprite jumping on the cranberry train like Sierra Mist and 7-UP but didn’t think it would arrive at the store so early. I was pleasantly surprised to buy it when I came home from my trip last week and immediately shot a picture to Matt over at Dinosaurdracula.com. It looks like I was tardy to the party, however, because he already tried it. I am always a day late and a dollar short when new products are introduced. I’ll review it anyway.

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I had high expectations for this because I like Sprite a bit more than one should. The red label makes for a pretty damn attractive bottle though it’s contents is clear unlike other cranberry soft drinks. Please great Almighty, make this taste amazing.

Hrm. After having a glass I stood there for a while not sure what to think. I liked it, there was no question about that but was it “blow your socks off slap your mama shoot a gun” good like I was hoping? Not really.

I couldn’t grasp the cranberry taste and perhaps it was because I bought full-on fat kid Sprite rather than the diet or Zero version. Usually the diet versions are less sugary and more tartness and in the cranberry soda world, that makes big difference.

So, I give it 7.5 out of 10. I do like it but if given a choice, I would probably take the advise of the Holiday Hawk.

I Have a Question

It has been a little bit of a hiatus since my last post here on the 2013 Halloween Countdown and I am so sorry for that. Work is one of those inescapable plagues of adulthood that sucks creativity away and replaces it with money. The great conundrum of life. But do not be troubled, I am back and full of Halloween vigor.

I’ll be right back with a very scary recap of a killer show from the late 1980’s and 90’s which had Halloween episodes few can rival. It is close to my heart and I dreamed of someone like Matt doing a recap but requests like that can be annoying so I figured it should at least be attempted by me. Hint: He has a felony record for drugs.

Hope all is going well and I will have this up soon. Until then, I need a question answered. What was the one scene in a movie or TV show that turned you into someone who loves the spooky side of life? Me, it is a tie between the original trailer to The Creepshow and the librarian in the movie Ghostbusters.

I remember the trailer more than the movie we saw in 1982. It was Empire Strikes Back but the only true memory I have is the horrific grim reaper peering through a bedroom window at the beginning and it has haunted my nights so much so that I still sleep with the blinds closed. Today it’s just out of habit.

The Ghostbuster’s librarian just made me piss the theater seat. I can’t rationalize it but for some reason in 1984, I was under the odd assumption that Ghostbusters was a movie about a motorcycle gang. I guess that’s how a six-year-old’s brain works, or at least how mine did. I never claimed to be bright as a child.

So, I have a clear memory sitting in my seat, completely terrified when books started floating and those damn New York library lions accompanied by the icon opening theme, but when the free-floating vaporous apparition transformed into a demon-monkey, trauma set in and I have never been the same since. I love demon-monkey for that.

So, what was your turning moment? We all have them so lay it on me! Comment below, on Twitter or on the Facebook page which I KNOW YOU ARE ALL FOLLOWING.

 

Elevator Music….FROM HELL!!!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. This is my travel week at work. At least once a month I have to travel to some part of the country and remind people why they do business with me. A little less Godfather and a little more Ned Ryerson. (BING!) This week lands me at a trade show in a city known for a rowdy pool hall and an Applebees. Tonight I will commit to a huge post as long as I can escape from clients at a reasonable time without guzzling four 64 ounce beers and my weight in jalapeno poppers.

So, before I slap on the suit and wander around a medical device show for the next six hours, I would like to share some music. It’s seriously spooky music. The kind that is played in the elevator to Hell.

I was watching Insidious last night and couldn’t help but wonder where director James Wan’s inspiration for that blood-curdling violin soundtrack came from? I am taking a wild swing here but I would bet a dozen apples and a moon pie it was inspired by the composer, Krzysztof Eugeniusz Penderecki. If you are unfamiliar, I don’t blame you. I usually do not commit names with eleven constants which are together to memory either. But you are familiar with his composition if you watched films like The Exorcist or The Shining.

The word that I can best describe a lot of his work is shrill. It gets under your skin in a way that could probably lead a person to madness. It builds a tension so thick you honestly can not listen to this in the dark without the feeling a cold dead hand will probably rest on your shoulder.

Listen to the second part of the work, “Cello”, that I have downloaded for your listening pleasure. It’s a mess of insanity but if you are the impatient type and need to get a quick grasp of what I am talking about, skip to 1:20 and listen for thirty seconds. At 1:31 you will get goosebumps. I have never heard sounds like that from instruments. It’s indescribable but it is pure, pure, pure horror.

Enjoy!

The Office and Studio Is Something Something Complete

It took a while but I finally feel at home in my office. This will be the home of numerous and ridiculous blogs and vlogs. In fact, right now I am drafting a vlog that will solidify VeggieMacabre’s spot in the Hall of Stupid Blogs. But in order to find true happiness, one must leave all inhibitions at the door and not care what other 35-year-olds do with their time.

I love it. And so will you or so help me!

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