Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
This year at at my house for Halloween we had two piles of stuff for trick or treaters. One pile was candy bars, which most kids got, and the other was 24k gold bullion for any kid not dressed up as a Power Ranger. Is it me, or was every other kid a Power Ranger?
And of course there was that one kid whose parents took the cheap way out by dressing him in an all red sweat suit, sunglasses, and a motorcycle helmet. That's the same kid who every other year is a ghost.
What's with the ghost costume anyway? Could you possibly be a little less creative with that thing?
Yes, another Halloween has come and gone, and what did we learn from it? That those Power Rangers are a bunch of rich SOB's, and that there is nothing more fun that putting on disguises and asking total strangers for food.
I use the word "food" and not "candy" because every trick or treat route has at least six or seven houses that give out raisins, peanuts, or apples. The apple of course came from the one couple on your street with no kids who decided they had something better to do than sit home and meet the neighbors, so they leave a giant tub of apples bobbing in water. An apple is still better that a pencil! Would you tell me what the hell a kid is supposed to do with a plain, yellow, No. 2 pencil? Stationary supplies are no substitute for a box of Milk Duds, even the 3 count size.
Each Halloween sees its share of trends. This year of course they are the Power Rangers, the Lion King, and O.J. Simpson. Then you have your long running favorites, G.I. Joe, Ninja Turtles, and Star Trek characters. And the classics, cowboy, witch, clown, etc. And then at the bottom of the costume hierarchy is the ghost, along with that one kid who has aluminum foil around a baseball bat and can't get over the fact that Star Wars was filmed about 20 years ago.
The costumes that always drove me nuts are the ones that are bought "off the rack" at finer discount stores everywhere. You know the ones I'm talking about, the costumes hanging on cardboard hangers alongside 15 thousand other ones. The thing that irritated me about these costumes wasn't the fact that they ripped at the seams halfway through the Halloween party at school that day, but that the costumes were just a jumper with a picture of whoever it was supposed to be on it. I assure you Fred Flintstone never wore a shirt that had his picture on it, yet alone the words "Yabba-Dabba-Doo!" (tm).
Home come some parents could just never spring the 79 cents for the official trick or treat bag? The bag with the Haunted House on the side and a jack o'lantern on the other. They were always sold at the checkout counter of People Drug...oops, I mean CVS!?
But, when all is said and done, Halloween is a special time of year. It brings together a community, kind of the same way a disgruntled postal employee does. (What does that mean?)
Saturday, October 28, 2006
When you mix Ernest P. Worrell and any holiday only good things will happen. Everyone knows Ernest saved Christmas, but when you might not know is that Ernest also had a hand in saving Halloween as documented in the 1991 big screen adventure ERNEST SCARED STUPID. The fourth of the nine Ernest films finds the commercial pitchman up against an evil troll who is accidentally unleashed on a small New England town on Halloween night. Big-Time comedy ensue as Ernest must learn how to defeat the troll with the help of an old witch (played by Eartha Kitt.) As I've said before, and I'll say again at Christmas, you just can't go wrong with an Ernest flick.
One of the only times you'll find me recommending a Bette Midler film, HOCUS POCUS is a really fun Halloween movie. Three kids match wits with a family of 300 year old witches who are accidentally unleashed on a small New England town on Halloween night. Midler plays one of witches along with Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimny. Bette Midler sings but not "Winds Beneath My Wings". See, it's not that scary!
Here's the setup for SPACED INVADERS, a ship full of aliens hears a rebroadcast of Orson Wells' WAR OF THE WORLDS radio show and mistaken it for the real thing. They head to Earth to join in the alien invasion where they are accidentally unleashed on a small New England town on Halloween night. One of the little aliens wears sunglasses and talks like Jack Nicholson...how funny is that!?
This one doesn't take place on Halloween, but since Elvira only works in the month of October it's fitting to watch her debut movie ELVIRA MISTRESS OF THE DARK at Halloween time. Elvira travels to Massachusetts to attend the reading of her Aunt's will. Along the way there are plenty of puns and bad one liners. After some comic mischief, Elvria's boobs are accidentally unleashed on the small New England town on what might as well be Halloween night. It's a good time, and I'm proud to say I saw this gem in the movie theatre 18 years ago.
Got any Halloween favorites you'd like to share with us?
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
As you may know, I use the site textamerica.com for most of my photo hosting needs. I have a page there called Wonderful World of Photos where I post pictures of all the crazy stuff my family does. It's always cool when someone out there in cyberspace takes note of what you do and passes it on to other. Textamerica just chose this photo of the pumpkin Elias and I made at school today as one of their Editor's Picks for the day. This photo, along with others, is featured on the Editor's Pick page off Textamerica's main page. You have to be registered with their site to access the page. I know it's not really a big deal and I don't want to blow it out of proportion, but I just wanted to share it with ya'll as the Wonderful World of Blog moves one step closer to total internet domination!
My pumpkin looks like one of the other three year olds in the class may have painted it. Other parents were getting real bold colors and solid brush strokes but as hard as I tried I could only muster up this goofy looking fella:
But it wasn't about the artwork, it was about spending time with Elias and that by itself is a good time! After the pumpkin painting we all had a snack of doughnut holes, grapes, yogurt and cookies and apple cider or milk for a beverage. We rounded out the morning with some songs and dances. Check out Elias and his buddies dancing around the classroom:
Monday, October 23, 2006
The film is not really scary at all, but it does deliver some good laughs both intentional and unintentional. Dick Miller (Mr. Futterman from GREMLINS) shows up as the mall's overnight janitor. Not to give anything away, but it's going to be his last night on the job. Also on hand in a brief cameo are Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov reprising their roles from EATING RAOUL. Heading up the picture are Tony O'Dell (from TV's HEAD OF THE CLASS) and Kelli Maroney who was in the equally fantastic and underrated NIGHT OF THE COMET.
When a movie is called CHOPPING MALL and has the tag lines "Where Shopping Costs You an Arm and a Leg" and "Shop `Till You Drop, Dead!" you know you're in for a good time.
If that looked too scary for you, you might want to catch the film on TV under it's tamer title KILLBOTS.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
I went to the Grand Opening last year when they only had a few pieces moved. I was able to briefly visit yesterday and see all the new stuff they've added. Click on over to Wonderful World of Pictures for some great photos of what's happening over at the new Enchanted Forest!
Friday, October 20, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
We know you've been waiting for it, so here it is: the complete rundown of every Halloween costume I wore during my formative years! The first four years I've pieced together from photo albums. From 1978, when I was in Kindergarten, and on I remember what I wore each year.
1974 - Campbell's Soup Kid
1975 - Cowboy
1976 - Mickey Mouse/Mouseketeer I was wearing a Mickey Mouse Club T-shirt and a Mickey Mouse mask, so I guess I was somewhere inbetween the two.
1977 - Mouseketeer This time around was a little better. I had the groovy disco Mickey Mouse Club ears and the multi-colored shirt from the 1970's version of the Mickey Mouse Club.
1978 - Casper White sheet and a Casper mask: Inspired!
1979 - The Pink Panther My only store bought costume, the pants ripped in school the day of Halloween thus sealing my fate of never having a store bought costume again!
1980 - Mork from the TV show Mork & Mindy I had the Mork suspenders. They were awesome!
1981 - Smurf My first attempt at a Smurf costume was kind of lame, I wore a blue button down shirt and white dress pants.
1982 - Smurf Try #2 was much better (as pictured above) My mom made a smurf hat, and sewed a little blue tail on white sweatpants. The smurf-colored Smurf t-shirt helped too, but I probably could have done with out the gay Zorro mask!
1983 - Michael Jackson I had a silver glove and a Thriller jacket. Instant costume!
1984 - Michael Jackson I had to take another stab at my Michael Jackson costume as well.
1985 - Trivial Pursuit This was an awesome costume. We took two big pie sheets and made a sandwich board that looked like a playing piece from the game. Then we stapled cards from the game all over a hat. Good times! (Wish I had a picture)
1986 - Tourist At this point I was in the 8th grade, so we're entering the period where you do as little as possible to get away with having a costume!
1987 - Santa on Vacation Basically, a variation on last year's costume except with a Santa Claus hat. Brilliant!
Leave a comment with some of your favorite personal Halloween costumes.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
BARBARA MANDRELL AND THE MANDRELL SISTERS was created and produced by Sid & Marty Krofft, the television masterminds behind the Saturday morning classics H.R. PUFFENSTUF, LAND OF THE LOST, and my personal favorite ELECTRA WOMAN AND DYNA GIRL. With their success in children's programming they moved to prime time to produce two other classic variety shows DONNY AND MARIE and THE BRADY BUNCH VARIETY HOUR. I've already got the BRADY BUNCH VARIETY HOUR on DVD, so once I snatch up Babs Mandrell when the DVD comes out in January, I'll just be waiting on you Donny and Marie!
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
The prize inside these Peanuts Kids Meals are one of four different little plush characters. They have Charlie Brown, Woodstock, Snoopy sitting up, and Snoopy laying down. It seems to me that if you're adopting a franchise with at least a dozen characters you could do better than to duplicate one when you're only making four. The coolest part of the promotion is the bag has several of Charles Schulz' classic comic strips on it, so you have something to read while you're chowing down on your Big Bacon Classic. Can't go wrong with some vintage Peanuts comics and artery clogging food!
Monday, October 16, 2006
Helen Slater played the role of Supergirl and thus began the stopwatch on her 15 minutes of fame. She followed up SUPERGIRL with THE LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN (a great movie co-staring her brother Christian Slater.) She then made appearances in RUTHLESS PEOPLE (another great movie) and the Michael J. Fox hit THE SECRET OF MY SUCCE$S (never saw it.) Slater has spent the following 18 years playing bit parts in films and TV shows and making the occasional TV-Movie.
Never got a SUPERGIRL sequel, probably because the film turned out to not be very good. I remember being somewhat disappointed when I finally saw it on HBO a year later. However, that didn't stop me from watching it 67 times...that's how we rolled in those days!
Saturday, October 14, 2006
I used to love Woolworth. Beyond the endless isles of crap that you could buy they had an electronics department that featured products from companies you never heard of for great prices. You could buy a dual cassette player from Scanasonic or Trony for like ten bucks! They also had the most odd assortment of tapes in their music collection. Looking for the soundtrack to CHOO CHOO AND THE PHILLY FLASH? Look no further than Woolworth!
Woolworth was also home to some good eatin'! Many Woolworth stores had "Coffee Shops" or "Lunch Counters". Seriously, that was my favorite place to eat back in the day. Any eatery that features it's entire menu on a laminated place mat...you know you're in for some good eats! They had great sandwiches (especially the burgers) and the Coke was perfectly a little too syrupy...and they had good ice too. Seriously, one year for my birthday I chose the Woolworth Lunch Counter for my birthday meal.
According to this commercial from 1976, Woolworth also had you covered in the Halloween department. This was the premier spot to pick out your cheap plastic costume of your favorite cartoon or TV character. And the lady in this commercial was very pleased to let you know that Woolworth also stocks candy for the Halloween season! She's very proud of the candy they have to offer...and who wouldn't be!?
Thursday, October 12, 2006
This is why I never play lottery tickets! I never win anything!
This picture is really cool. It appears to be nine people all dressed in store-bought costumes from Walt Disney's SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. The hand-written date on the back of the photo is 10-30-41, perhaps it's a Halloween party or just a practice run to see how all nine people look in their costumes!? Disney's classic Snow White film had just been released four years earlier so these costumes were probably still hot ticket items. It's nice to know that even in the old days store-bought Halloween costumes bared little resemblance to the characters they were trying to portray.
Next we have a photo from Halloween 1956. Here we have illustrated the old fashioned custom of lining up all the young boys in town and have them brutally eaten by a deranged demonic clown. Look at that dude's clown mask! I didn't know things were allowed to be that terrifying in 1956! The little boy to the far right is sporting another classic off-the-rack costume. I believe he is supposed to be Super Mouse, a popular comic book character from the 40's and 50's. The "belt" on the costume has a "MS" on it. Either way, what's the kid in the middle supposed to be!?
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
This, right here my friends, was a snack! Hostess has been making a line of hand held fruit filled pie for years. The most popular flavors have been apple, lemon, cherry and blueberry. Sometime in the late 1980's someone at Hostess had the great idea of taking the small crust of their Fruit Pies, scooping out all the wholesome fruit and replacing it with thick delicious pudding. Then a few years later the fine folks at Hostess took their tasty pudding pies and dipped them in a neon green icing-like substance, slapped the ultra-popular Ninja Turtles on the packaging and snack food history was made. When you bit into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pie you could feel the years being shaved off your life with every bite! Nothing edible should be day-glow green, and nothing that is filled with pudding needs to then be dipped in something else. But Hostess did it, and God bless `em for it!
The great thing about eating one was that people would look at you like your crazy! Maybe it's because I was 17 years old when these came out, or perhaps it was just the unnatural shade of green that radiated from the pies. As you can see from the wrapper shown here, inside each wrapped pie you got free TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES II: THE SECRET OF THE OOZE trading cards. Can't you just imagine biting into your Ninja Turtle pie while looking through your collection of TMNT II movie cards, hoping to find a card with featuring Vanilla Ice making his cameo appearance in the film singing Ninja Rap!?!? Word to your mother!
I remember one morning on a bus ride to school, I was enjoying a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pie and my friend and I read the ingredients on the back of the wrapper! I vividly remember among all the unnatural ingredients listed...Locust eggs! That's right, I said Locust Eggs! After that, I think I had maybe one more pie before I decided that no matter how much butt Leonardo can kick, I wasn't eating locust eggs for no one!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
If you've bounced over here from Malls of America, Welcome! Yesterday I ended up posting some pictures of my kids, but if you scroll back before that you'll find all kinds of fun retro stuff to fill your virtual-shopping bags. We have a lot of fun here so please consider bookmarking us and dropping in again! This site is updated almost daily!
Saturday, October 07, 2006
In their cartoon show, the Shirt Tales lived in a tree in a city park. They divided their time between harassing the park ranger Mr. Dinkle and fighting crime/saving the world. Inside the Shirt Tales' tree house was a giant computer where they communicated with the commissioner who sent them on missions of a crime fighting/world saving nature. At least once in each episode one of the Shirt Tales would display their emotions through a message on their shirt. It was never revealed if these were special battery powered shirts or if they were just magical. Either way the most intriguing part of the show is that not one person seemed alarmed that a panda bear was living in a city park. These things are endangered species and we've got the commissioner sending Pammy Panda all over the globe to hunt down jewel thieves and kidnappers!
You'll notice in the picture above the addition of another Shirt Tale, Kip. She was a little kangaroo (voiced by Nancy Cartwright of Bart Simpson fame) that was added to the cast in the second season. Back then, ever year a show had new episodes it was customary to add a new character so that children knew they were watching "one of the new ones."
Anywho...the Shirt Tales were awesome. Saturday mornings...NBC...right between Snorks and Smurfs...Good times! Shirt Tales, it's time for your comeback!
Friday, October 06, 2006
It's time to check in again with everyone's favorite comic duo...Dog & Bunny! Again, looking back at this comic strip 10 years after it was made, it makes no sense what-so-ever. From what I remember, DATELINE NBC had run a story where they put some cars to test to see if they could handle certain situations or something like that. It turned out that the Ford Taurus was catching on fire due to some fault in the manufacturing. A few weeks later it was revealed that NBC made the story up and the cars were tampered with before the story was shot. That ended up being bigger news than the original story. Either way, this strip came out before the news of the fake story came out. Check out the detail on Dog & Bunny's desk. If I remember correctly, they are supposed to be sitting in the offices of our school newspaper!
You can click on the comic to make it bigger!
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
This is no good reason why I still have this piece of paper in my possession. Canada's Wonderland is one of Kings Dominion's sister parks, located in Toronto. On a cross country trip in 1986 I begged my family to stop at this amusement park so I could put another feather in my "Smurf Attractions Visited" cap. Upon entering the park property and paying for parking with that colorful Canadian Monopoly money, we were handed our parking pass, a park map and this coupon for a free ticket if you returned a few weeks later to see He-Man and She-Ra Live! I was pretty excited to see the Smurfs (yet again) but He-Man and She-Ra!? I never dreamed of such amusement park/cartoon character glory. Alas, there was no way we were going to be anywhere near Toronto that following September or October to meet and greet the Masters of the Universe of the Princess of Power. I guess I've held on to this ticket for 20 years in the hopes that my dreams would never die! Twenty years, people! T-w-e-n-t-y! That's pretty sick! Actually I just always thought it was pretty funny. Apparently they could only find drawings of the action figures to promote this event! By the way, when is She-Ra going to make a comeback!? I'm all about that!
Monday, October 02, 2006
McDonald's likes to do this thing where at one time they will have two different types of Happy Meal toys available at the same time, one for boys and one for girls. They usually do this when there is something popular out that mainly appeals to one gender like Bratz or Power Rangers. This month McDonald's has The Little Mermaid for girls and Bionicle for boys. (For those of you out of the loop, Bionicle is some sort of gay Lego robot or something like that!?) First of all, The Little Mermaid should have a Happy Meal all to herself. There have been two previous Little Mermaid happy meals in 1989 and 1997 when the movie first came out and when it was rereleased on Home Video. In those Happy Meals the toys were little plastic figures or wind up toys. Now, in 2006, where ever Disney movie has to be for boys or girls, The Little Mermaid prizes are ALL girly. They have Little Mermaid purses, jewelry, lip balm, and even a tieara. I was pretty disappointed the other day when I saw The Little Mermaid poster hanging in the window of a McDonald's and swerved over three lanes of traffic to make it to the restaurant only to get a Little Mermaid necklace in my Happy Meal!
It never even dawned on me that the prizes would be girly. I was expecting more little plastic figures for my shelf! So instead of getting the boy OR girl prize at McDonald's this month, I've been ordering the "under 3" toy for Elias. They always have a different set of Happy Meal prizes with no little parts for kids under 3. Usually they are Fisher Price Little People toys, but now they are carrying a whole line of Evil Child Molester Ronald McDonalds in various vehicles, motorized or shelled. So stop by your local McDonald's today for a delicious Iced Coffee and Evil Looking Ronald McDonald driving a turtle toy!
In other news...check out this video of Tanner dancing to the song from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Walt Disney World.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
It's October 1st, and that means you can officially start celebrating Halloween without being accused that it's "too early." Around town here, people have had their Halloween decorations up for weeks. Yes, I said Halloween decorations. I live in a town where Halloween lights are just as common as Christmas lights!
What do you think the Holiday season was like before TV? Probably pretty sucky! Television sets the mood for the holidays, from the commercials which start airing long before the actual holiday to all the great TV specials that become holiday traditions. To start off the official Halloween season, here's a moody little piece of video from the early 80's. It really doesn't have anything to do with Halloween, but one of the great things about this holiday is that so many things can be considered Halloweeny just because they are spooky! Enjoy...