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.

Screen Shot 2018-10-20 at 11.21.41 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2018-10-20 at 11.18.24 AM

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.

img-7746.jpg

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.

IMG-7733

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.

IMG-8142

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.

Not Dead. Just Dead-ish.

Howdy, ghouls! Sorry for the break but getting a nasty virus and having a career that continuously goes haywire makes putting up timely content a bit of a struggle. But no worries! I am back and boy do I have lots and lots to show you. Oh the sights to see!

Seriously though, I have been laid out with what they thought was pneumonia but after further review, it was just a nasty bronchial infection which made breathing a bother. But I am at 100% so let the show continue!

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 10.09.06 AM

This weekend my boys, Brian from Review the World and Davie (DJ D) from Retro Ghouls and Shocks, are in town to film spooky reviews, brave my cooking and watch horror movies until we fear our own shadows. It’s a Fall tradition and we already have lots filmed so beware.

So, going forward through October 31st, there will be a post everyday to celebrate the best time of the year and starting October 1st a very special Spook Show is happening. I hope you know your horror movies or at least like them because if not, this news might not be as exciting. A few special people are sharing their talents to make this happen so I am hoping to make this year a continuing tradition.

Also, meet Theodore the Great. Another reason for the little break. He knows his role know as a co-host rather than a furry poop machine. We are breaking out the ouija board tonight to see if we can channel the spirit of Boris Karloff through Theo.

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 10.14.15 AM

Expect continuing posts here but also keep the eyes on Twitter, Instagram and now VeggieMacabre on Tumblr for minute by minute adventures. Tis the season so go start your own spooky adventures and share them with me!

Summer Evening Storms: Ain’t What They Used To Be

Middle school is a tough time for many kids, especially boys. I say boys because the transition from elementary to middle requires something that we, as a male species hate, and that is results. It’s true, little boys go kicking and screaming when it comes to the period of growing up. I know I did.

The summer of 1991 was a pretty huge change for me. I left the comforts of a cush’ fifth grade life to that of an accelerated sixth grader who, in reality, probably shouldn’t have been. A standard sixth grader would have been just fine. And as if that wasn’t hard enough, my family got transferred to Phoenix, Arizona smack in the middle of the school year. It was a royal suck.

Being the new kid, I didn’t really have any friends besides this kid named Reed, who was the most popular kid in school and lived down the street from me. During school he would pretend not know me but after he would always show up at my house ready to talk me into some sort of mischief. And when I say mischief, I mean stuff that would end up on Fox News today because, lets face it, we live in a shaming society. Let me list a few activities for you because we were complete little assholes.

  • Throw oranges from the citrus trees over the highway barrier into traffic.
  • Get into ROCK WARS in the desert with other kids
  • Snipe small animals with BB guns
  • Roll smoke bombs into garages of those who kept them cracked open for their cats
  • T.P. teacher’s houses
  • Hit golfers with water balloons launched from a water balloon launcher
  • And much more

So, when peer pressure got old I would retreat to the house and build monster models while watching movies that I knew would haunt me as soon as dusk came. I believe that is sort of the way I have always run my life. Sure it feels good now but damn if I won’t pay for it later.

tumblr_lo2yeeUCPh1qi4nyc

My love of the macabre would rear its head especially during the Arizona evening storms that would light the sky and rumble the foundations of the house. The heat of the day with a mix of northern cool air would produce some of the most fantastic electrical storms I have ever seen and while most kids probably thought nothing of it, I was buried under my blankets, counting the distance of the storm by the Poltergeist method of seconds between lightning and thunder. And we all know what happens when the storm got closer.

I remember riding my bike home for dinner and staring off into the distance over the mountains and seeing the ominous clouds build in the distance like billowing army, marching closer and closer as the afternoon-evening transformed to night. The wind chimes would clang as the wind slowly increased force until it sounded like a spectral howl, wailing with creepy peaks and valleys. As the sun set, an orange hue set upon the whole house and the distraction of dinner in front of the TV was welcome but in the back of my head, night was coming and soon the storm would be here.

zzz the storm is coming Poltergeist 11099456_gal

My Mom hated these electrical storms and would demand the TV be unplugged at the first rumble of thunder for fear of a power surge. It supposedly happened to my parents back when I was an infant and ever since then, no matter what size surge protector we had, the TV was going off. That meant off to bed to dwell in my thoughts.

You see, I didn’t have any brothers or sisters growing up and with my Dad always gone on trips, it was just me and Ma at the house. With a Mom who was as nervous as a dog on the 4th of July, I was pretty much left to my own overactive imagination. And as a horror goon, that was pretty grim. Constantly I would see images of Regan’s horrid face from the movie The Exorcist as she would peer from the window when the lightning lit the sky. Why oh why did I watch that from the hallway when Dad had it on HBO earlier in the year? (That’s a rhetorical question because back then, that’s how every sixth grader saw The Exorcist.)

These nights were pretty tough because every ghoul and spook seemed to creep into my thoughts and cause me to hear and see things that just weren’t there. Even passages of books read for fun at the pool would come to haunt me these evenings. “We dare not look out the back window of the house for that’s where the dead wander and rap upon our door.”- Bell Witch

I really hated myself during those few agonizing nights but as soon as the sun came up, I would completely forget the terrors which plagued me just hours before. Nope, it was a new day with no cares in the world. That is until four o’clock came again.

Today, I am still the twisted little kid who loves to get spooked by movies and stories but I have come to love these evening summer storms. Like Eddie Rabbit says, it washes my cares away and even relaxes me into repose. My dog, however, doesn’t agree but I can be the comfort to whatever he is thinking. I am sure it’s not the Tar Man coming out of the closet but who knows? He watches all these silly movies with me now and I don’t know what damage that has done.

cosmo

I hope you get these summer storms and if so have grown to appreciate them as much as I have. Just remember, the little things in life are what makes everything worth it.

FYI, big stuff coming and as a hint, REVIEW THE WORLD is visiting again! Badda Bing! The What The Hell Show begins!

FLTO: Dill Pickle Wheat Thins

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 4.14.21 PM

There are two types of people in the world; those who like Neil Diamond and those who don’t. My wife loves him.” -Bob Wiley

I believe that applies to crackers, as well. I, myself, am a Triscuit man. I have stated that since the fledgling days of VeggieMacabre and some two thousand boxes later, I still sing Gordon Lightfoot sad melodies when I reach the bottom of one. But every-so-often I cheat and pick up a box of Nabisco’s retarded sister, Wheat Thins. And that only happens when Wheat Thins come out with a wacky flavor.

IMG_9368

For a limited time only, Wheat Thins now comes in a briny dill pickle flavor that dogs love! And, truth be told, I don’t hate them either. It’s all about the real pickle taste and the Nabisco scientists really got this one nailed.

It’s pretty crazy how absolutely dill picklish these crackers are. I must warn you, however, after fourteen crackers you need to drink seven hundred gallons of water. Really not sure if it’s the brine taste or the massive amount of sodium but holy crap, you ain’t winning a whistling contest after eating these.

IMG_9367

AND WHAT THE HECK IS “NATURAL FLAVOR WITH OTHER NATURAL FLAVOR”??? It sounds both redundant and silly. It’s like me saying I’m a man with other man.

No…it’s not like that at all. That sounded completely wrong. Let me try that again. It’s like saying the black car is black with more black. I think we get it if you just state that the car is black. Just like if it has natural flavors, who cares if it has other natural flavors? Maybe I am just being picky.

So, if you are at the store and like pickles AND dig Wheat Thins, you might want to throw these in the basket with your lotion. They are only here for a limited time and that’s why I just spent twenty minutes writing about them.

 

 

Halloween For The Dogs

Before I commence on writing this post I would like to please ask you not to inform PETA about this article. The dogs loved doing this. Well, at least one of them did.

Halloween is a time when we dress up and I believe it was originally intended to chase away evil spirits. Over the years it’s morphed into something quite different and now it’s all about slutty mail carriers and Miley Cyrus bears. I, myself, have not dressed up in a couple of years and I don’t have any kids to live vicariously through so my poor dogs get the brunt of my Halloween love. They have no choice. I pick up their poop.

IMG_4204

Meet my two furry models; Cosmo and Lolo Bean. They are the greatest dogs and give so much love it’s almost annoying but they are technically rescues so they should spread the love-vibe. If only I could get Cosmo to stop humping his blankets and Lolo so stop rooting through the bathroom trash basket.

IMG_4205

The first victim is Cosmo. Little Lolo could only watch in confusion while I wrestled Cosmo into his Prison Jumpsuit I bought from Target for the price of $11.99. It’s pretty cute and even has a little slot where the inmate number goes so you can write what his offenses are. I have a list like, barking at the next door neighbor’s kid, humping his blanket, chewing up my blankets, putting his wet snout on the center of my back when I am asleep, stealing Lolo’s chew treats and dropping tennis balls in the toilet. I decided to write “Being Cosmo”.

IMG_4209

It’s not too complicated of an outfit, but you can see he definitely doesn’t mind wearing it. Almost as if he feels good about it. A life of crime doesn’t pay, my friend, and you and I both know you get antsy in your crate. He does look cute running around in a onesy that is a size too small.

IMG_4233

Next victim is Lolo Bean. She’s a really patient type and lets me do pretty much anything other than clip her nails. She is wearing a cheerleader’s uniform I got from Target for $6.99 and I am not sure why this little piece of fabric costs so much. Regardless I slid her into the costume and found out that Bean might not qualify as a small dog.
IMG_4219

It’s pretty snug and you can tell from her expression she is anything but thrilled. She get’s lots of loves from everyone and I think a sense of entitlement is starting to take root with her. Either that or my continuing theory that she is plotting my murder by doing the only thing she can and try to suffocate me in my sleep. She even tries when I am away! You might think it’s cute how she forces her head over my mouth and nose and refuses to let me up but it is also weird and in the dark of her eyes, I see murder.

IMG_4222

SEE?!?! Evil in a “Rah Rah Ruff” costume.

It took awhile to wrestle Cosmo out of his jail suit for the next costume. It was a little more complex. It had a hat.

I bought him his second costume, again at Target, for the cool price of $24. Since Cosmo is a bottomless pit and will eat just about everything, I thought it was appropriate to dress him as a culinary professional. Or, as we know it, a chef. The issue with this costume is the hat. He takes off in a dead sprint for no real reason so I am expecting this hat to be chewed up and buried within the first hour of wearing it.

The main part of the costume wasn’t overly that complicated but it did involve a very low on the abdomen velcro belt and my forearm kept bumping his wiener which made for awkwardness and no eye contact for the rest of the night.

He’s a good boy but such a spaz! I could not get him to stay still long enough to successfully get everything in one fell swoop so I had to distract him with treats while I tied his kerchief, making sure he could still breath.

IMG_4231

Finally, we have the hat and it was not nearly as difficult as I was expecting. Believe it or not, it actually stayed on too! I think my friend and I laughed for a solid ten minutes when it was finally done. He looks half pathetic and half Gordon Ramsey.

IMG_4229

Trust me, he is a lot happier than he appears. In fact, I think I caught him checking himself out in the bathroom mirror. After he dropped another one of his tennis balls in the toilet. Very handsome, indeed.

IMG_4175

This is the look of something that will potentially shit in your shoe.

We finally come to the last costume, a dinosaur purchased at Target for around $15 and as you see, I didn’t put it on right. I though Lolo Bean was too fat for it but then upon closer inspection, I figured the top strap was for the neck, bringing the arms higher which made much more sense. Sorry I called you fat, Lolo.

IMG_4223

Not the greatest picture but here is what it is supposed to look like. Pretty fierce.

IMG_4228

She spent the rest of the night with her back turned to me. I fear for my life now.

That’s the pet costume show of 2013. I hope you dress your furry family members up too and share them with the rest of us.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: