Monday, October 31, 2005


Here's a collage of all the things I'll be watching, doing and eating throughout the day this Halloween:

[ Click the image for details ]

Happy Halloween!

[ Click the card to see inside! ]

Exorcists in Training

ROME (Reuters) - It was the first day of school, so some students were understandably nervous. But then again, they were not taking just any course, but one run by a Vatican university to teach aspiring demonologists and exorcists.

"There is no doubt that the devil is intervening more in the life of man these days," Father Paolo Scarafoni told the students, most of them priests who want to learn how to tackle the demon if they should ever encounter him. "Not all of you will become exorcists but it is indispensable that every priest knows how to discern between demonic possession and psychological problems," he said.

The four-month course, called "Exorcism and the Prayer of Liberation," is being offered for the second year by Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University on Rome's outskirts. The about 120 students from around the world will hear lectures on topics such as the pastoral, spiritual, theological, liturgical, medical, legal and criminological aspects of Satanism and demonic possession. One planned lecture is called: "Problems related to exorcism and correlated issues."

One priest, who asked not to be identified, said he decided to take the course after a "very unsettling experience" while hearing the confession of one young member of his parish. "Her voice changed, her face was transformed and she started speaking in a language that she did not know," he said. "I've met people who are suffering from this problem and it is not as rare as we might imagine."

So, will he be ready to wrestle with demons of the kind who may have possessed his parishioner in the confessional box? "If, after this course, my superiors decide that it will be useful for me to become an exorcist, I will do it," he said.


Interest in the devil and the occult has been boosted by films such as this year's "The Exorcism of Emily Rose," and last year's "Exorcist: The Beginning," which was the sequel to the original "The Exorcist" in 1973.

But forget the films. The students will have several real-life and well known exorcists to teach them. One is Father Gabriele Nanni, who attended Thursday's opening class and spoke to Reuters during a break. "First thing is the priest has to know if the devil is at work in a person or if the problem is somewhere else," he said.

Nanni said there are four sure signs that pointed to demonic possession rather than psychological problems. He listed them as:

"When someone speaks or understands languages they normally do not; when their physical strength is disproportionate to their body size or age; when they are suddenly knowledgeable about occult practices; when they have a physical aversion to sacred things, such as the communion host or prayers."

According to some estimates, as many as 5,000 people are thought to be members of Satanic cults in Italy with 17-to 25-year-olds making up three quarters of them.

In 1999, the Vatican updated its ritual for exorcism.

It starts with prayers, a blessing and sprinkling of holy water, the laying on of hands on the possessed, and the making of the sign of the cross.

The formula begins: "I order you, Satan..." It goes on to denounce Satan as "prince of this world" and "enemy of human salvation." It ends: "Go back, Satan."

Turner Classic Movies Halloween Schedule

[ To see the entire TV schedule for all channels, click here ]

Sunday, October 30, 2005


• Artificial, "Carvable" foam pumpkins as an alternative to the real thing. WTF? This has got to be the biggest piece-of-shit product around. And for anyone who says "But it's less messy, no pumpkin innards, plus it's easier to cut and you can re-use it." In the words of Napoleon Dynamite, so's a corroded piece of crap! I'd say the point of Halloween is obviously lost on you. Get back in your SUV and grab a beeper from Olive Garden. They'll let you know when your table is ready.

• Articles like the one found in The Dallas Morning News, entitled: "Make Halloween Treats a Little Less Frightening." I'm sure an opening sentence like "At a time when childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions... is just the angle you were going for, but gimme a fuckin' break. First off, obesity in anyone is all about moderation. Halloween comes once a year, so give the scare tactics a rest and let kids be kids for a change. Not everything in life has to be monitored and doled out like some kind of clone factory. The same goes for Christmastime. If I read one more generic article about how to keep trim during the holidays, I think I'll puke.

• White pumpkins are Martha Stewart-wannabe-styled foo foo bullshit. Believe it or not, not everything in this world needs a "facelift." Jack o' lanterns are orange, not white. Enough already with the Women's Day approach to Halloween!

• Shame on the news media for adding to the anti-Halloween propaganda under the guise of hard-hitting news. It kicks in earlier and earlier each year and really begins to take flight about 2-3 weeks before Halloween. Whether it's the dire announcement of "Trick or Treating: There's a lot more to be frightened of than ghosts and goblins. Stay tuned for our exclusive story," or random pot heads putting 'shrooms into candy bars and selling them to other potheads (the only correlation being that candy and Halloween are synonymous...other than that absolutely ZERO connection), to Halloween thieves stealing lawn decorations (That's news? I call that Friday night.), it's ludicrous. I'm so sick of the vilifying of Halloween.

• "Fall Festivals." Gimme a fuckin' break already. Yeah, we get it, Biblethumpers. Halloween is the Devil's holiday as far as you're concerned. How could we forget, what with the church marquees that say things like "Celebrate the light, not the darkness," around this time of year. Not to mention these so-called "Fall Festivals" that you pass off as "safe havens" or "alternatives" to trick-or-treating. Whatever. We both know that these are nothing more than HALLOWEEN parties with a different name. C'mon! I remember our church sectioning off a room at church and turning it into a "spook house," complete with the traditional bowls of "witches hair (oily spaghetti)," "eyeballs (peeled grapes)," et al. We also wore costumes, bit apples on strings and ate candy. And what? The biggest shock of all...we didn't die or turn into serial killers. Ppphhllt. Organized religion sucks today. Nothing more than a bunch of preservatives trying to manipulate children into thinking that having fun and being normal is a bad thing. Shame on them.

Find a Chill Between These Pages

For those of you who were around this time last year, you already know that I like to share some of my vast collection of paperback book's covers with you. Well, this year is no exception, so here are this year's creepy covers!:

The Courtesy of Death by Geoffrey Household © 1968
Psycho by Robert Bloch © 1989
The Witch-Baiter by Charles Birkin © 1967
The Bat by Mary Roberts Rinehart © 1965
The Invisible Man by H.G.Wells © 1957
Tales of the Frightened by Michael Avallone © 1963
Five Were Missing by Lois Duncan © 1972
Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan © 1983
Children of the Damned by A.V. Sellwood © 1964
The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham © 1976
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Vampire Affair by Keith Hetherington © 1966
Killer Crabs by Guy N. Smith © 1979
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson © 1973
The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe Adapted by Lee Sheridan © 1961
The Vault of Horror: Volume 1 © 1965

*To see last year's covers, click here


Anybody out there remember the line of Mad Scientist toys from the late 80's? I remember wanting the Mad Scientist Monster Lab where you could create monsters, then dunk them in the vat of "acid" and "boil the flesh off their bones!" Fun! Mattel always had the coolest toys.

Anyway, I recently stumbled upon a vintage (1986 now qualifies as "vintage"...*sigh*) Mad Scientist coloring book at a thrift store and had to buy it. I've included a scan of it. If you click on the coloring page, you can print it out and be the envy of all your friends!

*For more fun Halloween goodies (MP3s, Desktops, Retro costume galleries, Vintage Halloween decorations/merchandise, Horror movie posters, Printable activities...), be sure to check out my Yahoo! group(s): Halloween–RetroStyle and Halloween_Retro2!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Halloween Public Service Announcement

• Never eat a candy named FudgieDooks. I don't care how much you like recycled peanuts.

• If you receive a treat that you don't particularly like, a polite 'thank you' is still in order. After all, in this economy you're lucky anyone is giving you anything.

• Trick-or-treating is for kids. If you have pubes and/or a driver's license, odds are you're too old to go.

• For all you single people out there, Ramen noodles, eye drops and/or ice cubes are not acceptable treat for a child.

• Attention elderly (and my mother), a fistful of candy that you've had congealing in a jar in the kitchen since Gerald Ford was in office, does not make a good treat. No one wants a candy meteor that you've been hoarding since 1976.

• If you have pets, please note that they do not necessarily have to answer the door with you every time you hand out treats. No one likes a cold nose in their crotch. Not even the hardiest of trick-or-treaters. Some of their fathers, maybe, but not the children.

• Repeat trick-or-treaters automatically get something from the litter box after their first visit. That's the rule.

• Single people, never ask a child to "cup" their hands and then proceed to ladle hot soup into them. In this age of frivolous lawsuits, it's just not a good idea.

• If you're one of those people giving out little boxes of raisins ("Nature's Candy"), fruit, nuts or mini tubes of toothpaste, you can count on your house getting TP'ed in the future. Go with the sugar. After all, they're not your kids. You won't be around when it's time to peel them off the ceiling.

• Never allow trick-or-treaters to choose their treat from an assortment unless you like leg cramps.

• For those of you out there who are of the avian persuasion, Bird Flu is not a good treat, but it is one helluva trick.

The Good Ol' Days


This is a story my mother told me when I was growing up. Before I was born my parents and my step sister, Lisa lived in a different town. My dad wasn't home much in the evenings, so more often than not my mother and step sister were left home alone.

My mother, being young, had been warned by the older neighborhood ladies to steer clear of the man living next door to them. Apparently he was known for having a violent temper and, according to them, there had been accusations of rape in his not-so-distant past. Whether this was true or not, my mother said both she and Lisa had found him creepy, what with his always staring at them like an oddball. It got to the point where my mother wouldn't allow Lisa to sunbathe in the backyard, since every time she did, he always seemed to materialize, hedge clippers in hand, perpetually trimming the hedges that divided their backyards.

The house my parents were living in at the time had a sun room, which was pretty much the hub of the house where stuff like reading the newspaper, watching TV, etc. took place.

One night, while my mother was sitting in the sun room reading, Lisa nearby (knitting or something to that effect), both of them casually talking, the lights went out all over the house. Initially thinking nothing of it, my mom told Lisa to look outside and see if the rest of the neighborhood's power was out as well, while she went to go find some candles. Lisa went to look out the window in the living room, only to see that the rest of the neighborhood seemed to be fine. Porch lights on et al. That's when they knew it must have been the circuit breaker. The only problem? The breaker box was outside, on the west side of house. Lisa didn't want to go and neither did my mom, but with my dad out of town on business, it would be hours before he came home.

My mom went into the kitchen to get a flashlight, Lisa staying close. However, before she could open the door to the sun room, to go outside, they both heard the shuffling of bushes outside. Being that there was no wind, my mom became suspicious, Lisa scared. My mom crept over to the window to see where the the sound was coming from and strained to see if she could make anything out. The area outside the sun room where the sound originated was at such an angle that you could only see so far, and naturally, no one can see around corners. As my mom strained to see if she could make anything out, she detected movement out of the corner of her eye. Concealed in the bushes that lined the side of the house near where the breaker box was located, she could just make out two feet...shifting uneasily to stay as close to the house as possible. It was their next door neighbor who'd switched the breaker off, waiting for one of them to come outside to switch it back on!

My mother called a neighbor whose husband came over, armed with a baseball bat and turned on the breaker for them. My parents soon moved to our current hometown shortly after.

Voice of Jolly Green Giant Dies

BBC News- The American entertainer whose voice boomed out "Ho, ho, ho" in the Jolly Green Giant vegetable adverts for decades has died at the age of 80.

Elmer Dresslar, originally from Kansas, died of cancer, his daughter announced in California where he had been living since his retirement. Dresslar periodically re-recorded the famous jingle and sang a fresh "Ho, Ho, Ho" about 10 years ago. "If nothing else, it put my sister and I through college," said daughter Teri. "He never got tired of it," she added. The phrase, one of the most distinctive taglines in advertising history, was created by Leo Burnett.

A spokeswoman for General Mills, the owner of the Green Giant Company, said Dresslar had been "the most consistent and most frequent voice of the Jolly Green Giant over the years - the one consumers are going to recognise". The figure viewers saw on screen was Keith Wegeman, an Olympic ski jumper.

A navy veteran, Dresslar studied voice in Chicago in the 1950s and by the following decade had carved out a career singing in clubs, on television and in advertising jingles, the Associated Press news agency notes.

He recorded 15 albums with The Singers Unlimited jazz group and appeared on the CBS television show In Town Tonight from 1955 to 1960.

Other jingles he recorded advertised Rice Krispies cereal, Amoco oil, Dinty Moore canned beef stew and Marlboro cigarettes.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Holy Spongecake, Batman!

Batman: The mummy has captured the professor and his beautiful daughter!
Robin: Great Cheops!
Batman: They violated the tomb of his ancestors and he wants revenge!
The Mummy: I'll roll this two-ton stone...they'll never get out alive!
Robin: Even my special mummy ray gun won't stop him...
Batman: Well, after all, you can't kill a mummy!
Robin: Right...he's already dead! What'll we do?
Batman: We've got to have a secret weapon...I've got it!
Robin: What is it? We've got to act fast!
Batman: We'll lure him away with an offer he can't resist!
Robin: Seems I've heard that somewhere before. What's that?
Batman: M-m-m! Delicious Hostess Twinkies! I can't resist that moist sponge cake and creamy filling!
Robin: Here he comes!
The Mummy: M-m-m! I've been around for 2000 years and I've never tasted anything so good!
The Professor: Now's our chance to escape! Let's go!
The Professor: Gee! Thanks Batman and Robin!
The Professor's Beautiful Daughter: For these delicious Hostess Twinkies! Mmm-
Announcer: You get a big delight in every bite of Hostess Twinkies!


When summer rolls around here in Texas, it seems like the "water bugs" as people around here call them (I still call them roaches), seem to come out of nowhere. And the fact that I live in a neighborhood filled with mature trees doesn't help (roaches love trees of any kind). Thankfully, the few I do see, stay within the confines of the garage and rarely get into the house.

One evening, I had to go into the garage to look for something and to bundle up a pile of newspapers that had been accumulating way too long. After turning on the light and opening the screen door, I walked down the steps into the garage. Before I could start searching for what I was looking for, I detected movement out of the corner of my left eye. When I looked up to see what it was (it was a huge roach on the wall) it took flight off the wall and landed on my face, in the corner of my left eye! Before I could react, it scuttled down my face and tried to crawl into my left nostril! I freaked-the-fuck-out, knocked it away from my face and did that thing that everyone does when something really gross has just happened to them. You know, that garbled "bleargh!" sound while you shiver and cringe, hunching your shoulders. GAH! The fact that I didn't trip over something and impale myself trying to get away from it is a miracle in itself!

Now, every time I enter the garage, I look out the screen door before I proceed down the steps. Needless to say, I'm a little gunshy. It was weeks before the feeling of phantom cockroach legs scurrying across my face subsided. I couldn't wash my face enough. Blech!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Spooky Reads

Dressed for Thrills : 100 Years of Halloween Costumes and Masquerade by Phyllis Galembo, Mark Alice Durant, Valerie Steele © 2002

From a 1930s waxed, painted buckram "Evil Bunny" and a mohair and cotton "Colonial Ladies Wig" from the 1940s to "Buddie Beatnik" and "Rubik's Cube" costumes, this colorful photographic survey by Galembo, shows vintage costumes worn by (sometimes rather unhappy looking) young models. The play versions of Groucho Marx, Olive Oyl, astronauts and Lady Liberty among the 123 full-color photos illustrate that principle whimsically and sometimes scarily.

Ed Emberley's Halloween Drawing Book by Ed Emberley © 1995

Step-by-step instructions for drawing Halloween cartoon figures and objects. Features a collection of things for kids to draw as they get ready for Halloween. Includes jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, witches, bats, cats, monsters, owls and more!

Famous Monster Movie Art Of Basil Gogos by Kerry Gammill © 2005 (*Release date: December retarded is that?)

The Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos is a celebration of the career of the acknowledged master of film monster portrait art. To many fans of classic horror movies, the name Basil Gogos is as familiar as that of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi or Vincent Price. Gogos' paintings are as iconic as his subjects.

*to read more about this book, go here.

A Reminder from Kirkkitsch...

The Bloody Stranger

I don't have any phobias per say, but I do have an aversion to certain things. One of them is someone rapping heavily on the front door. I know it sounds like a somewhat odd fear, but it's true. This isn't to say that I get freaked out anytime someone simply knocks on my front door (personally, I'm always baffled as to how many people do this in lieu of ringing the goddamn doorbell, but I digress), but I do get somewhat frazzled when someone bangs like a maniac on my front door. After reading this story, maybe you'll understand why.

My grandparents were farmers. They grew cotton and peanuts. The lived in a very small town. They owned a home in town and a farmhouse waaaaaay out in the country. Practically in the middle of nowhere. The nearest neighbors were miles away, separated by fields of corn (in the summertime) as far as the eye can see. On a clear, dark night, if you looked really hard, you could juuust make out whether or not the lights were on at the neighbor's house.

My grandparents farm house was a no-frills relic. Quaint and clean, but really more of a place to lay your head after a hard day's work. After a long day of farming the last thing you wanna do is drive an hour to get home, so more often than not, they would spend the night at the farm. The farmhouse had a screened-in porch, a kitchen and four bedrooms. Two of the four bedrooms were used for other things. The room directly off of the kitchen was basically a cloakroom. And if your paying attention, no, there was no bathroom. There was an outhouse, however. Delightful. NOT. I could tell you about the nest of Daddy Long Legs spiders that made an unscheduled appearance once while I was there, but I think you get the idea. The house had electricity, gas and running water, but no telephone. And that's where we begin our story...

One summer my parents, grandparents, my uncle Gary, and his daughter Melanie (my cousin) were spending the weekend at the farmhouse. My grandmother had bought one of those plastic swimming pools for us kids to play in. You know, the ones with all the cute little cartoons printed all on the interior, that you'd fill with water in the summertime and let the kids go wild in. Anyway, she'd bought it and put it in the cloakroom, off of the kitchen and Melanie and I were sitting in it, playing. We were 5 years old at the time. It was around 10:30 or so, and while we played, the adults were gathered around the kitchen table talking. That's when we heard the bloodcurdling screams off in the distance.

Everyone went silent for a few minutes, while we strained to listen for what we thought we'd all heard. Silence. My grandmother looked out the kitchen window, and even with a full moon, she couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. My uncle went to open the door that went out onto the porch and before he could reach it, a woman began frantically beating on the door, screaming for help. My uncle stepped back a little, surprised and cautious of whomever was wailing on the door. The screaming and beating seemed to last forever, until finally we urged him to open the door. It was a woman, her face and body smattered with blood.

My mother told us to stay where we were and not to come out. But naturally, I had to look through the crack of the door to see what was going on. I wish I hadn't. There, standing in the doorway was a woman who had blood all over her hands, blood on her face, in her hair and blood down the front of her dress. She said she'd been attacked and needed to use the phone. We told her that we didn't have one, but that the nearest neighbor did. Though we offered for her to come in, she insisted on getting to a phone. We pointed to the house that had the phone and she started to run towards it.

The last thing I remember is looking out the cloakroom window and seeing her running through the cornfield that separated us from the nearest neighbor. The full moon highlighting the tops of the tall corn as it parted and closed in behind her.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The WB is for Lovers...Lovers' Lane

Tonight on the WB's television show Supernatural, they'll be airing an episode called "Hook Man," based on one of my all-time favorite urban legends. The show has consistently delivered the scares, and the previews for this episode looks very creepy...just in time for Halloween! Here's a synopsis of the episode:

When a mythical, vengeful creature terrorizes a small college town in Iowa, Sam and Dean race to find and destroy the Hook Man's bones before he comes for them.

For those who may have been living under a rock for the last 5 decades or so or are simply unfamiliar with American folklore, here's the story:

A teenager drove his date to Lovers' Lane for a make-out session before it was time to take her home. The place was very dark and deserted. After turning on the radio for a bit of mood music, he leaned over and began kissing her.

Suddenly the music stopped and an announcer's voice came on, warning in an urgent tone that a convicted murderer had just escaped from the state insane asylum — which happened to be nearby — and that anyone who noticed a stranger lurking about with a hook in place of his right hand should report his whereabouts to the police immediately.

The girl was frightened and asked to be taken home. Instead, the boy locked all the doors and assured her they were safe and tried to kiss her again. She became frantic and pushed him away, insisting that they leave. Peevishly, he relented, jerking the car into gear and spinning the wheels of the car as he pulled out of the parking space.

When they arrived at her house she got out of the car, and, reaching to close the door, began to scream uncontrollably. The boy ran around to her side to see what was wrong and there, dangling from the door handle, was a bloody hook.

There are several variations, which you can read about here and here.

So watch it tonight, or better yet, TiVo it and save it for Halloween night! Supernatural airs on the WB network at 8PM*

*(Check local listings for time and channel)

Stranger in the House

Today's story comes to us from my my best friend in high school, Calvin.

One weekend, Calvin had our mutual friend, Charles over to his house for a sleep over. Since Calvin's sister, Donna was sleeping over at someone else's house (sleep overs were big in small town 80's America), Charles could sleep in her room.

Unlike myself, Calvin lived "in town," in a pretty dense neighborhood. Everyone's backyards separated by an alley that ran the length of the street, where people would leave their trash to be collected by the garbage men. Calvin's house had a big sliding glass door that opened into both the dining room and the kitchen. There was a phone on the wall in the kitchen and a phone in Calvin's room. Actually, the phone jack was in Donna's room, but the cord stretched into Calvin's room across the hall.

Late that night, around 3AM or so, Calvin and Charles called our friend, Jean. Charles on the phone in the kitchen, Calvin on the phone in his room. Charles laid down the phone on the floor when he got up to go to the bathroom. Having the attention span of the typical teenager, Charles neglected to hang up the phone when he went into Calvin's room so that he and Calvin could both talk to Jean at the same time. As the conversation went on, Jean eventually went to take a bathroom break of her own, while Calvin and Charles waited.

While they were waiting for her to return, they heard (via the phone in the kitchen that Charles neglected to hang up) the sliding glass door in the dining room sliiiiiide open and the clatter of someone picking up the phone. They sat there petrified, listening to whoever listening in...breathing.

In what seemed like an eternity, they eventually got up the nerve to bolt from calvin's bedroom to Calvin's parent's room located just across the hall, to alert them about what was going on.

By the time they got to the kitchen, the phone was hung up, the curtains caught in the closed sliding glass door and nothing but the sound of the wooden gate leading to the alleyway, swinging on it's hinges. They never did find out who it was.

Civil-Rights Icon Rosa Parks Dead At 92

Rosa Parks, whose refusal to surrender her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, helped spark the civil-rights movement, died of natural causes at her Detroit home on Monday. She was 92.

Parks' attorney, Shirley Kaigler, told Reuters that she'd died while taking a nap, in the presence of friends and relatives. "She just fell asleep and didn't wake up," Kaigler said.

A seamstress recognized as the matriarch of the civil-rights movement, Parks' December 1, 1955, act of defiance ignited the Montgomery bus boycott — and, in turn, shaped the course of human rights in the United States.

Parks was jailed and fined $14 for not giving up her seat. Five days later, thousands gathered at Montgomery's Holt Street Baptist Church. It was there that a 26-year-old Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. called for diplomatic opposition to segregation; the caucus led to a 381-day boycott of the city's bus system, which influenced the city's leaders to end the practice.

In an interview with The Detroit News, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick called Parks one of the "most important figures in the history of the world. She ignited a fire in this country. The world owes her a debt of gratitude. I think this is a day we all can remember, just like we remember [December 1] 1955."

Monday, October 24, 2005

Stop Me Before I Fuck a Turtle!

While I'm on the topic of voting, Early Voting began today, here in Texas. Actual voting begins November 8th.

One of the key issues this time around is Proposition 2. Proposition 2 defines marriage in the Texas constitution as being solely between a man and a woman. Passage would reduce the likelihood of a successful constitutional challenge to the state's 2003 "Defense of Marriage Act."

I'm nothing if not realistic. I know there's not a chance in Hell (another red state) that the proposition will pass. I mean, c'mon, we're talking about a state that still had a sodomy statute on the books until just a few years ago {Which Harriet_Miers opposed the repeal of, by the way. Gee, I wonder where her allegiance lies? DOI!} . What with the news already doing it's one-sided reports on how demand for Voter's Guides have increased exponentially, primarily due to Right Wing churches requests. According to one VG representative, they (re: the organizations requesting them) want them to hand out in church, at their "Harvest Festivals" (i.e. Halloween parties, c'mon!) and place in their foyers. The possibility of this prop passing is as likely as Texas women not being ruled by their vagina and shirking their wifely duties (as dictated by their Prairie Home Companion). Tammy Wynette would be so proud.

Naturally, with such a prop on the ballot, the JesusSquirrels and and those using "family" values as a scapegoat for their bigotry, are coming out of the woodwork. Using every scare tactic from "The Threat to Marriage" to "What About the Children," the JesusSquirrels are pulling out all the stops. And naturally, the allusion that the next logical step is people wanting to "marry" a farm animal. And isn't that what logic dictates? I can't tell you how many times I've sat around with my friends and lamented "I wish just once I could fuck a turtle in the comfort of my own home. Or take my turtle out to lunch at the Olive Garden, without the stigma of being a 'dirty turtle fucker.' I'm just like them. I want to be able to express my turtlelove freely and openly. Why can't they see that? Why?" Then I curl up in a fetal position, clutching a box of delicious candy turtles tightly in my arms. Drifting off to sleep, dreaming of the day I can make sweet love to my turtle without being labeled a pariah.

On a serious note, I think the thing that I find most unsettling about the anti-gay rhetoric is that even with all of our technological and medical advances that have been made over the decades, there are still hordes of ignorant people living in a time warp. I'd say it makes me angry, but it actually makes me more sad that anything else. Sad that no matter how much the world around us may change, one thing is a constant: ignorant people. Very sad indeed.

Normally, I make it a rule not to link to fascist sites/articles on the Internet, but this time I'm making an exception. Even if you normally find this kind of rhetoric stressful, I urge you to see just what kind of propaganda is being hoisted against those who'd like the opportunity to be just as miserable as straight people. Er, I mean those who deserve to enjoy the legal equalities of their straight counterparts. Unlike the Christian Right, I've always believed education ('edumucation' for those home-schoolers out there) is the best offense. Now go vote!

Proposition 2 Propaganda
The Slippery Slope of Same-Sex "Marriage"
Texas Clergy Take Sides in Battle Over Gay Marriage
Governor Angers Gays

P.s. I'll be voting tomorrow.
P.s.s. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my own mother is actually on my side for once. Particularly surprising since we have agreed to disagree when it comes to evolution. A little silver lining goes a long way.

Viva Autocracy Democracy!

BlogExplosion is having a contest for best logo design for their new blog: The concept behind the contest is that they are letting the members choose the winning logo. Here are the two I entered (in the colors of their blog template):

Though my second design somehow managed to not make an appearance in the contest, (while others were allowed up to 5 entries in the contest, thus increasing their possibilities of winning x5) one of mine did. So, if you get a chance, go vote for your favorite logo. Click on the 'Members' tab and look for the link to vote, under the 'Blog of the Day.' The poll closes October 26th.

The Face at the Window

Growing up, I always looked forward to the day that my parents would let me stay home alone. While "All the other kid's parents" were doing it, it didn't happen for me until I was 13 years old. The first time I was left home alone, my parents went out to dinner with friends. Unbeknownst to me, one of our cats had slipped into the garage undetected, knocked something over and briefly freaking me out. So much for wanting to be home alone. But I got over it and when the second time came around, I was more than ready to prove I was mature enough to be left alone.

Before I get too far ahead, first a little prologue. We lived out in the country. Not really in the middle of nowhere, but the nearest neighbors were relatively far away. Our next door neighbors to the east owned an old 2-story rock home that also came with a smaller stone guest house, which they rented out to people from time to time. Most of the time the people they rented to were transients, only living there for a few months before moving on. At the time of my 2nd "home alone" experience, the couple they were renting to were somewhat strange, or at least what translates into "strange" when you live in a small town: withdrawn, unfriendly, unsociable. Being a small town, rumors of the couple being peeping toms didn't take long to circulate. Incidents of "peepery" (I just made that word up), not to mention break-ins suddenly started to be reported in the newspaper shortly after their arrival as well. Living next door we'd never had any problems with any of their tenants so this wasn't necessarily something that we worried about...

Seven o'clock came and my parents were getting ready to leave. They gave me the number they could be reached at and said they'd be home late. "Late," at the time meant after 11PM. I rushed them out the door, anxious to have the house to myself. It was always fun being on my first.

After they left, I locked the door and immediately made phone calls to friends, watched movies and sang/danced to music, not worrying about volume for once. Around 9:30 or so I paid a visit to the bathroom and while I was going about my business I heard the dogs start to bark. All throughout my childhood we always had at least 2 dogs in the back yard. They had their own pen and it wasn't uncommon for them to bark at a stray possum, cat or whatever.

Not giving their barks much thought, I wasn't immediately alarmed, that is until I heard the sound of leaves crunching underfoot, directly beneath the bathroom window. All bathroom activity ceased, so that I could listen and make sure I heard what I thought I'd heard. There it was again. This time accompanied by a low, almost inaudible "Shhhhhhhh," as if someone were coaxing the dogs into calming down...or talking to someone else. I closed up shop and looked outside, but couldn't see anything but darkness. I decided to turn off the light to see if that would help my eyes adjust to the dark, so I could better see what the dogs were barking at.

After turning off the light in the bathroom, I crept over to the window, keeping just below window level, and slowly rose to cup my hands on either sides of my eyes as I pressed my nose against the glass. There, looking back at me was a man doing the exact same thing! ...and if he was here...where was she?!

I sprinted out into the hall to call the police on one of the phones on either end of the hall, and that's when I heard the noise. The scraping, gnawing sound of metal against wood. At first I couldn't tell where the sound was coming from, then after a few seconds, I was able to determine it was coming from the door at the end of the hall that lead out onto the back porch (our screened in laundry room). Evidently they'd cut one of the screens on the porch and gotten in, in order to get to the door leading into the house.

I ran and found my air horn that I'd brought to one of our school pep rallies (which was quickly confiscated, only to be returned at the end of the school day), turned on the flood lights which illuminated the entire back yard and ran up to the door she was at and yelled "Get out of here! I've called the police!," kicked the door then layed on the horn.

I immediately heard footsteps retreating down the steps and the screen door slam shut. Left in their wake: a huge portion of cut screen, the box cutter used to cut it and chipped pieces of wood from where someone had chipped away at the door frame. The next day our neighbor's tenants had apparently left in a hurry, even leaving some of their personal belongings behind.

Hitchcock Marathon on Turner Classic Movies

Tonight, Turner Classic Movies channel will be hosting an Alfred Hitchcock movie marathon. Kicking off at 7PM with the 1973 documentary Hitchcock.

Visit the TCM web site to download your FREE Hitchcock desktop, click here. TCM also has other fun goodies on their site, all in the spirit of Halloween! Other than desktops, you can also enjoy the Haunted House edition of Mad Libs, send a spooky e-card or watch the trailer for a classic horror favorite, like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein!

*(Check local listings for time and channel)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

On Shelves Now...

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Mad Magazine. I have fond memories of my mom bringing me misc. paperback editions of Mad when I was in the hospital at a young age. I've always loved the movie parodies in particular, especially the ones based on horror films.

Well, if you love the Mad horror parodies, then you're in luck. There's a special Classic Halloween issue on stands now that parodies The Shining, The Amityville Horror and others. In addition, there's a great little retrospective of "Rediscovered Covers", featuring Alfred E. Neuman as various classic monsters: Frankenstein, Dracula, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, etc. As an added incentive, there's even an Alfred E. Neuman Halloween mask, just in time for Halloween! (*click on the image of the Alfred Mask for a printable version)

So what are you waiting for? Go buy a copy now before they're all gone!

Tales from da Crib

*This post will stay at the top of my blog until Monday, October 24th. All new posts can be found directly beneath it.

Starting next week I'm going to be posting one creepy story a day. All of them true and all of them experienced by yours truly (a couple vicariously). Some of you may find them creepy while some of you may not. Whatever the case, I found them unsettling and each story, in some way, had a hand in my formative years. Most are from the past, one is from the present. I'll let you choose the order in which I'll post them.

Everything You Never Wanted to Know...

I got tagged by Princess Wild Cow, so here are:

20 Random Things About Me

01. I'm a hermit...until something better comes along.

02. Decades of exposure to ignorant assholes have made me the pessimistic skeptic you see today.

03. I often feel guilty about things. Some I can change and some I can't.

04. For a gay man, I'm not very gay-friendly. I consider my attitude a direct biproduct of the subculture.

05. Even though I may come across as an asshole in my posts, I really am a nice person. It'll probably end up getting me shot. You know what they say about nice guys...

06. I tend to fall in love with inanimate objects (movies, books, food). People, not so much.

07. I worry a lot about the future. I always have. I wish I didn't. It wears me out.

08. I don't have many friends in the real world, for whatever reason. Personally, I think it's because I put too high of expectations on them and I'm too pessimistic. It's a lot of work always playing comic relief and initiator.

09. It's my opinion that everyone has a dysfunctional family...even if they don't want to admit it.

10. I get worked up over things I have no control over.

11. Talking to my parents is like talking to myself. The porch light's on, but they went to bed hours ago.

12. I like a lot of things that are considered "age-inappropriate" by most adults: toys, coloring books, cartoons...

13. I'm a surface pessimist, but a closet optimist.

14. I can honestly say I don't miss anyone I went to school/college with.

15. I don't think I'll die of natural causes.

16. Sometimes I get the urge just to hold someone's hand.

17. Very few things keep me happy for the long term.

18. I can be bought.

19. I would have made a great Child of the Damned.

20. Individually, I like the smell of gasoline, mothballs and bleach.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Munchies

As I've mentioned before, I go through phases with food. I'll have a craving for something, fall in love with it and then eat it until I get burnt out on it. I know. It's weird. Anyway, here are my current addictions. To see my past ones, click here.

Tell me what you're devouring these days. Maybe you can introduce me to a new flavor sensation!

Speaking of, I don't know how long they've been around, but I just discovered Lay's Cheddar & Sour Cream Flavored Potato Chips! OMG, orgasmic. Also, if you haven't tried Lucerne's French Onion and Bacon chip dip, it's a staple too. I fell in love with it the first time I had it at one of my Halloween parties waaaaay back in the 80's. It's still as delicious today as it ever was!

A. Hormel Beef Roast Au Jus. Fully cooked roast beef. Heats in 4 minutes in the microwave or boil-in-the-bag for 10-12 minutes. No creepy gristle. Tastes like fresh roast you've been simmering all day in the crockpot. Makes excellent French Dip Sandwiches (*see recipe).

B. Campbell's Chicken Won Ton Soup. Excellent with some crispy French's French Fried Onions sprinkled on top. Contains less sodium (try more than half) than my old favorite, Maruchan brand Chicken Wonton, which contains 1,470mg.

C. Grimmway Carrot Chips. A great side for your French Dip Sandwich. Also a great snack when you want something crunchy. They are great in a Cucumber Salad. I like to add some red bell pepper and instead of making a foo-foo red wine vinaigrette, I just use a few dashes of Kraft's Zesty Italian salad dressing. Delicious!

D. Fresca Sparkling Peach Citrus Soda. I like the original Fresca. It's "okay," but I LOVE the taste of their new peach flavor! Soooo crisp and clean with a great peach taste, but not too sweet, unlike Peach Nehi. I mean Nehi is good, but Fresca is better. They also have another new flavor: Black Cherry. Me no likee the flavor cherry (ironic?), but you might wanna check it out.

E. Mott's Apple Sauce (Original flavor). Smooth, cool, delicious. Nice to dip cinnamon toast in.

F. Dole Fruit Gel Bowls (Pineapple chunks in green 'gel'...since apparently "Jell-O" is a trademarked term). I was bored and creeping down all the aisles in the grocery store, scrutinizing all the products and stumbled across these. Really good! A great snack. I also bought some of those Mott's Magic Mix-Ins. They're little individual servings of apple sauce that come with a packet of "magic" mix-ins (i.e. Pop Rocks) that change the apple sauce into green "Wizard Watermelon"-flavored apple sauce and red-swirled "Poppin' Berry."

G. Giant Smarties. OMG, I am lovin' these! If you haven't seen them yet, they are just like the regular Smarties we all grew up with, but they are super-sized. Roughly the size of a quarter. The pineapple ones (the white ones) are my favorite! Mmmmm! I found these at the local Hollywood Video, but I've since seen them other places as well.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Belated Birthday Blog

I celebrated a birthday at the end of September, so I thought I'd share with you (not unlike last year's blog post) what I received for my birthday. Since I know me better than anyone, I do what I call self-induced birthdaying. Wheee! But seriously, I've always enjoyed buying my own gifts. If I don't do it, who will? It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. I'm showing you my loot not to be boastful, just more as an insight. Besides, this post is, in a way, replacing my usual "Recent DVD Purchases" post.

[1] Nip/Tuck: Season 2 DVD boxset

[2] The Hammer Horror Series DVD boxset

[3] The Bela Lugosi Collection DVD boxset

[4] Birth DVD (I have got to blog about this film at a later date. If I forget, remind me.)

[5] Girls Nite Out DVD

[6] A Very Long Engagement DVD

[7] Tanner on Tanner DVD

[8] Undergrads: The Complete First Season DVD boxset

[9] SNL: The Best of Gilda Radner DVD

[10] Malevolence DVD

[11] Lil' Creepers DVD
I stumbled across this cute little animated DVD while at the dollar store. The animation isn't the best, but I've seen worse. Besides, how could I resist a cartoon with little kid versions of classic horror monsters: Vinnie (werewolf), Bela (vampire), Boris (Frankenstein), etc. Cute!

[12] My friend Sarah sent me this wonderful Smoking Baby (among other things). I've always wanted one, so I was super psyched when I opened it! You can read more about the Smoking Baby here.

[13] I found this wonderful replica of a vintage vacuum tube radio at Walgreen's of all places! And it was just $9! Looks great in my kitchen.

[14] Yes, I am admitted coloring book enthusiast. I still enjoy coloring books and crayons et al. I found this great Pink Panther coloring book at the dollar store.

[15] Hot Stuff Giant Magnet. I love the old Harvey cartoons, so when I saw this at Half Price Books for $2, I knew I had to have it. They had Casper too! I should have gotten that one for my mailbox...I may have to go back.

[16] My friend Sarah came through again with this AWESOME interactive What Would a Unicorn Do? folder. If you are ever in doubt as to what to do, just spin the unicorn on the cover and it will pint the way to bliss.

[17] I found this great stick candy at a new grocery store nearby. It's fresh too, believe it or not! There's just something about the sound of stick candy clinking against each other that I love. They also had some other old favorites I hadn't seen in YEARS: Bridge Mix, Horehound and Sen-Sen! Just because they're not from my generation doesn't mean I don't remember them. Me likee the Horehound!

[18] My friend Mariana sent me a wonderfully-decorated box (*see photo in first paragraph) box of assorted Kinder Egg toys, and lots of other goodies. She also burned me a great CD-R of over 200 retro-vintage magazine ads for various foods. I'll be sharing my favorites at a later date. TOO cool!

[19] My friend Derik bought me this great new board game called Spinergy. I can't wait to play it!

[20] I instantly fell in love with this giant novelty matchstick lighter. I bought two. Perfect for all those candles on Halloween night and for lighting the gas stove in the bathroom this Winter!

[21] My friend Derik gave me this great Halloween gift card from Target. It's one of those magic tilt-type cards, where when you tilt it one way it's a vampire, then when you tilt it another way it's a bat. I forgot the actual term, but you know what I mean...God, it's going to drive me crazy now.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Mad Chatter -or- Through the Booking Ass

Every fall I look forward to the annual book sales that take place in October. October is the month for book sales in this and surrounding areas. Having said that I recently went to one and have one more to look forward to, slated for a few days before Halloween.

Needless to say, I bought a ton of books for very little cash. I think maybe the most expensive book I bought was $5. Everything else ranged from 10¢ - $3. I love that. Anyway, I mostly bought handfuls of those little cook booklets that I love (collect) so much. You know, the little freebies that you get when you buy Wesson Oil or sour cream or something. I recently started sharing my vast collection of retro cook booklets and their recipes at my other blog, Jam Handy!

As you know, when you venture outside you often have to be exposed to other people. A real negative in most cases. Well, this book sale was no exception. Not unlike last year's fartacular experience, there was another idiot at this book sale too. This time he wasn't a book lover as much as a tagalong. Here's the story:

I arrive at the sale, grabbed a basket and start shoppin'. Enjoying the relatively low din of the usual background noise: the older women who run the sale talking amongst themselves, the stray customer being schooled on where things are, customers talking to fellow customers... Then there's the sounds that grate on my nerves: the cell phone idiots who let their phone ring for what seems like an eternity before answering it in their loud, donkey-like voice. The children who should have been left at home. And then there's the Chatty Cathy who fancies himself a comedian.

So, I'm standing there, rifling through boxes of books, tossing in the occasional "find," when I hear "How about this one? *ha ha ha !*"..."Did you want this book on insert subject here? *LOL!*" "Did you see this one? *HA HA HA*" and so on and so on and so on... It never ended. It was like this non-stop one-sided dialogue of retardation. I looked up to see this turd with, I'm assuming, his wife (God bless her). She had this shit-eating, half-hearted grin plastered on her face while he continued to deluge her with his oh-so-wacky interjections. I felt so bad for her, yet I wanted to beat him senseless with the nearest bookend.

Now, I'm no stranger to the "funny" interjection. My friends and I do it to each other whenever we go shopping somewhere together. You know, like when you come up to your friend at the bookstore, holding a copy of some god awful Anne Geddes (or some other such embarrassing/in-joke book) book and say nonchalantly to your friend "Did you want this?" or "Here. you dropped this." Then you both roll your eyes, laugh and it's over. Or in my case, when I go with my friend Nathan, I end up with a Sandi Patti CD in my basket or a copy of Veggie-Tales on VHS. Think of it as a different level of "There's your boyfriend," as you point out the biggest freakshow in the place. We've all done it.

My point is, we all do these silly, funny things, but the big difference is we know when to stop. No one wants to be forced to be put on high-alert because you won't leave them alone long enough to shop in peace.

Annnyway, the guy eventually left with his weary, worn friend and everything went back to normal. I eventually went to check out and found another fistful of free cook booklets on the "FREE" table on the way out. The FREE table is a table near the exit that is stacked with all kinds of books/booklets that for whatever reason (condition, no value, outdated, etc.) aren't book sale-worthy. You can find some groovy little treasures if you take the time to look.

Here's what I found:

The Ghouls by Peter Haining
Salute to the Thirties by Jannet Flanner, Photography by Horst
Comment: This book is filled from beginning to end with beautiful, rare photos of celebrities from all walks of life. Most of the images I've never even seen before. It was a must-have, even though there is one loose page. The $5 I paid for it sure beats the $25 and up other places are charging for this out-of-print book!
Rosemary Clooney: Thanks for Nothing LP
Doris Day: Bright & Shiny LP
Charlie Chan: Meeting at Midnight (AKA Charlie Chan in "Black Magic") VHS
• Assorted cook booklets (not all are shown)
The Art of Chinese Cooking by the Benedictine Sisters of Peking
Comment: I had to buy this cute little cookbook once I saw the illustrations inside. They're all so sweet and simple. I just love them. I also love that this book was obviously bought somewhere overseas (thus the Japanese [?] stamp on the back, inside cover) and authored by Benedictine nuns! A nice piece of cooking history dating back to 1956.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The 13 Nights of Halloween

Tonight is the beginning of The 13 Nights of Halloween on the ABC Family Channel. From ghost stories to movies, there's something for everyone. Here's the schedule through Halloween night:

Wednesday, October 19
8:00 pm The Sixth Sense

Thursday, October 20
8:00 pm Ghost

Friday, October 21
8:00 pm The Goonies

Saturday, October 22
2 pm - 9 pm Scariest Places on Earth Marathon
8:00 pm ALL NEW Scariest Places on Earth
9:00 pm Scariest Places: Fear Force
1:00 am Scariest Places

Sunday, October 23
2 pm - 9 pm Scariest Places on Earth Marathon
8:00 pm ALL NEW Scariest Places on Earth
9:00 pm Urban Legend
11:00 pm Scariest Places

Monday, October 24
8:00 pm The Hollow

Tuesday, October 25
8:00 pm Ghost

Wednesday, October 26
8:00 pm Batman Returns

Thursday, October 27
8:00 pm Urban Legend

Friday, October 28
8:00 pm The Sixth Sense
12:00 am Campfire Tales

Saturday, October 29
2:00 pm When Good Ghouls Go Bad
4:00 pm Tower of Terror
6:00 pm Deep Rising
8:00 pm The Sixth Sense
10:30 pm Campfire Tales
12:30 am Scariest Places on Earth Marathon

Sunday, October 30
1:00 pm The Goonies
3:30 pm Heart and Souls
5:30 pm Ghost
8:00 pm The Sixth Sense
10:30 pm Scariest Places on Earth

Monday, October 31
8:00 pm Scariest Places on Earth
9:00 pm Scariest Places on Earth

*Check local listings for time and channel

Ghost Hunters vs Most Haunted

Today on the Sci-Fi Channel, there was a mini marathon of the TV show Ghost Hunters. Though I don't necessarily believe in ghosts, I do enjoy watching shows about them...normally. However, after watching 3 or 4 episodes of Ghost Hunters, I've reached one conclusion: WEAK. It's amazing that this show got the green light. More often than not, the only thing that manifests itself routinely is machismo and implausible ghostbusting "skills." It's definitely targeting the eXtreme Generation. It's hard to take supposed paranormalists seriously once you've heard one exclaim "Dude, RUN!!" *eye roll* In short, the places they visit appear scary because they're dark (what isn't scarier in the dark?), but more often than not the viewer rarely gets to see and/or hear half the stuff these people are claiming to be experiencing. AND more often than not their results are "inconclusive." YAWN.

I prefer the Travel Channel's TV show Most Haunted. For entertainment value alone, this show has Ghost Hunters beat. No competition. The premise of Most Haunted is pretty much the same as Ghost Hunters (it should be, GH being nothing more than an inferior copycat): A group of paranormal investigators explore "haunted" locales. Most Haunted is genuinely more spooky and feels a lot more polished and real than Sci-Fi's Ghost Hunters. And, unlike GH, MH actually helps resolve some of the activity (particularly when it takes place in a home where a family is currently dwelling), whereas GH go in, set up their equipment, walk around in the dark and then go home to find out that they captured nothing of interest (to anyone) on any of their equipment...again. Amazing how they rarely (if ever) seem to capture the phenomena they claim to have experienced, on film. In addition, the cast seem to think that the more they repeat the one "paranormal" thing that happened to them, it'll somehow pad the show in order to fill their allotted time slot. In short, GH suffers from The Boy Who Cried Wolf Syndrome.

I know you're probably asking yourself "If it was so boring, why did you keep watching it?" Good question. To be honest, I was waiting for the payoff. Waiting for it to get better. It just never did. I realize that with the given subject matter that every investigation can't be The Haunting each time, but c'mon. The fact that Ghost Hunters has lasted more than 1 season already is a testament that people will watch anything. Trust me, the best thing about the show is their well-edited, misleading promos.

As for Most Haunted, the show looks great, the people investigating are plausible (sans Derek Acorah) and the show is just a lot more interesting. Not to mention the fact that the show has been in production for going on 4 years now. I also like the fact that they do instant replays for all their sights and sounds, unlike GH. This gives the viewer the opportunity to actually HEAR & SEE what the investigators experienced. Whereas the cast of GH simply exclaim "Did you hear that?!, then proceed to TELL you what they heard. Shyeah...what-ever.

The only beef I have with Most Haunted is the überqueer "Spiritualist Medium" Derek Acorah (shown at left). OMG, he's the gayest thing since Liberace. I find it incredulous that he manages to be the one singled out in almost every episode, to be "possessed" by some spirit that is supposedly-involved with the locale the team is investigating. Interesting how his "possessions" seemed to manifest themselves more frequently after the success (i.e. camera time) of his first one. His so-called possessions wreak of attention whore. The fruity voices, the over-the-top acting, etc. Gaa-aa-aa-y! Plus, it's achingly obvious that the other legitimate paranormalists don't buy it either. They never come out and say it, but you can tell they don't. Acorah is simply there for entertainment value...for what's it's worth. Seriously though, he's fruitier than Carmen Miranda's hat. And get this: He's "married" to a woman and is the father of two children. Faaaabulous.

So, other than the fruitacular exploits of one retard, Most Haunted gets my vote over the inferior Ghost Hunters. You can check them out and judge for yourself. To read another person's take on Ghost Hunters, check out this article by Ted Twietmeyer over at

Most Haunted airs Fridays at 9PM on the Travel Channel, while Ghost Hunters airs Wednesdays at 9PM on the Sci-Fi Channel.

The Hottest Crackhead Ever!

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know I have a tendency to set my sights on hotties in the weirdest of places: television commercials, catalogs, sales circulars, etc. Well then, it will come to no surprise to you that I have unearthed yet another one.

Recently, while going through a huge box of VHS tapes that I'd recorded on...yet didn't label, I ran across an old episode of Sally Jessy Raphaël's talk show Sally. It had to be an old one because she was still wearing those 80's red framed glasses of hers. Anyway, the episode was called "I'm Begging for Your Forgiveness," and there was this MONDO-hot crackhead on the show. Apparently he had neglected his family, blah blah blah. Sure, he's a scumbag. Sure, he's just one pinky ring away from Eurotrash, but dayuuuum, he is BEAUTIFUL. Yes, I said it. Mwah! ROWR ROWR!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Revenge of the State Fair of Texas (Vol. 2)

Well, by semi-popular demand, here is Volume 2 of my photos taken at the Texas State Fair a week or so ago. Whenever I get around to getting the ones I took with the disposable camera developed, I'll post some of those as well. I'm anxious to see what the night shots of the Midway look like.

[1] Wall-o-Stewies. One of the more popular prize giveaways in the Midway. Both me and my friend Derik attempted to win one by playing skeeball. Needless to say, it didn't happen. You had to score at least a 190. I think the closest I got was 110. Gyp. (*)

[2] This great photograph of Elvis was among the many Elvis mementos on view at an Elvis exhibit within The Hall of State.

[3] One of the many neon-colored palm trees scattered throughout the Midway. They lit up once it got dark! Pretty! (*)

[4] "You Ain't Nuthin' But a Hound Dog" was the theme of this year's butter sculpture. On display in the The Creative Arts Building, there were also 3 or 4 "hound dogs" and a doghouse, all sculpted out of butter, accompanying The King. To be quiet honest, I've seen this artist do better. Let's just say people aren't her forte and leave it at that. You can read more about the sculpture and the artist by clicking here.

[5] Anybody home? Detail of one of the dollhouses on display in the The Hall of State.

[6] Some festive honeycomb decorations in a trader's booth that featured clothes of the Asian persuasion.

[7] Detail of one of the beautiful, Gothic figures surrounding the base of a light on the steps leading to The Hall of State. This one was my favorite.

[8] Old meets new. This merry-go-round was incredibly beautiful and ornate. And as my friend Derik pointed out, the horses on the outside were new fiberglass models, while the older, original horses were housed closer to the carousel's base. Pretty! (*)

[9] Spongebob! Nooooooo! Colorful sponges as seen at The Dallas Aquarium. (*)

[10] Meet Beauregard ("Beau), Elsie the Cow's son. He was in the crib (complete with mobile) next to Elsie. What a cutie-face!

[11] The inspiration for the B-52's song, this Rock Lobster was on view at, you guessed it, The Dallas Aquarium. Mmmmm! Where's the drawn butter?

[12] This little freak darling was one of the many children scattered throughout The Food & Grains building. These huge banners were hanging overhead for all to see. This one creeped me out because I have no fuckin' idea what the hell she is gnawing on. It looks like a lightly-breaded rabbit's foot to me. Whatever it is, it's red and gooey on the inside. Bleah! Bad photo. Bad.

[13] The train that surrounds Fair Park. All aboard! You could hear its whistle screech throughout the park during its run.

[14] The Fair Park Band Shell. Personally, every time I see this photo it reminds me of that TV commercial for that Betty Crocker Bake'n Fill dessert maker. Either that or the Looney Toons logo.

[15] I dunno why, but I found this peeling sign for the Men's room, um...apeeling.

[16] Mekka Lekka Hi-Mekka Hiney Ho! A genie outside one of the fun houses on the Midway.

[17] Meet Gimpy least that's what my friend Derik dubbed him. This cute lil' Sea Turtle had nubby front and back limbs. Why, I dunno. Perhaps he was rescued by The Dallas Aquarium. Perhaps he was somehow associated with the lesser-known Turtle Mafia. We'll never know. (*)

[18] Love, exciting and new
Come Aboard. We're expecting youuuuuuuuu...The Love Boat soon will be making another run...The Love Boat...
Now you know I just had to take a picture of Mistuh Faboo-luss, shown here. He was sitting on one of the many coin-operated foot massagers scattered throughout the park, no doubt taking an important phone call from headquarters. Note the delicious gold buttons. This playa got bling, yo!

[19] This guy and his wife and his little girl all rode with Derik and I on the Texas Star ferris wheel. It was their first time at the Texas State Fair, so needless to say, they were having a good time. They were all so cute and friendly. Personally, I liked the father in particular. I wanted to pinch his little cheeks and hug him and squeeze him and call him George. But I didn't. But I did manage to snap this photo...with the flash ON. OMG, I was mortified on the inside, thinking surely someone detected it. Nope. Just more proof that people truly are oblivious to their surroundings. Yay me!

[20] This is Pouty McButterpants. He was just some little ol' grumpy-looking fish I thought was colorful...again, taken at The Dallas Aquarium.

[21] Elsie is ready for her close-up. So cute. What a star!

[22] Some random plastic shark hanging over one of the tanks at The Dallas Aquarium.

*Denotes photo was taken by Derik, not me.

Monday, October 17, 2005

She's So Unusual...and That's Why I Love Her

At the risk of sounding like a new generation of old-timer gushing about Glenn Miller, I really love Cyndi Lauper. I recently rekindled my love affair with her when I "rediscovered" my old VHS copy of Vibes and subsequently bought myself her 3-CD import The Great Cyndi Lauper: Greatest Hits and music video compilation DVD, over at I chose the import in lieu of her American-released greatest hits collection (Twelve Deadly Cyns...and Then Some), because it had some of my favorites that aren't available anywhere else: Hole in My Heart (All the Way to China) (from the 80's movie Vibes) and Goonies 'R' Good Enough (naturally, from the movie The Goonies), just to name a few.

I love Cyndi because I think she has a GREAT voice and, of course, I love her style and imagination. How could I not? She introduced me to kitsch before I even knew what it was! Her albums She's So Unusual (one of my first cassette tapes ordered from Columbia House in the mid 80's) and True Colors are among my favorites, though her last CD At Last, where she does covers of great American standards such as If You Go Away, My Baby Just Cares For Me and Makin' Whoopee, is really great too. A great CD for lovers of Lounge. Aside from the music/voice/lyrics, I love the cover of her True Colors CD. An homage to a well-known scene from the film Orphée (Orpheus) by Jean Cocteau, she joins the ranks of The Smiths (whose covers I've always loved as well) who also made use of the image on the cover of their single This Charming Man.

Okay, okay, the gushing is over now. So, here's my collage of some of my favorite photos of Cyndi. She's done some really great ones over the years. Very classic. Always distinctive.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Assimilate or be Destroyed

NEW YORK -- American Girl, manufacturer of a highly popular line of dolls and children's books, has become the target of conservative activists threatening a boycott unless the toy maker cuts off contributions to a youth organization that supports abortion rights and acceptance of lesbians.

The protest is directed at an ongoing American Girl campaign in which proceeds from sales of a special "I Can" wristband help support educational and empowerment programs of Girls Inc., a national nonprofit organization which describes its mission as "inspiring girls to be strong, smart and bold."

American Girl, whose often patriotic products have long had a loyal following among conservatives, issued a statement Friday defending its support of Girls Inc. and assailing the protest campaign. "We are profoundly disappointed that certain groups have chosen to misconstrue American Girl's purely altruistic efforts and turn them into a broader political statement on issues that we, as a corporation, have no position," the statement said.

The Mississippi-based American Family Association, in a campaign launched Wednesday, is urging its members to demand that American Girl halt support for Girls Inc., which it called "a pro-abortion, pro-lesbian advocacy group." "Let American Girl know they are making a terrible mistake," AFA chairman Don Wildmon said in a statement. The AFA says it has more than 2.2 million members.

The Pro-Life Action League, a Chicago-based anti-abortion group, also is asking supporters to contact American Girl to express dismay. The league's executive director, Ann Scheidler, said her organization might call for a boycott of American Girl's products and organize picketing at its stores in Chicago and New York if the company doesn't sever ties with Girls Inc.

"Parents need to know that this effort to promote self-esteem among girls is not as innocent as it seems," Scheidler said. "While Girls Inc. has some good programs, they also support abortion, oppose abstinence-only education for girls, and condone lesbianism."

American Girl, a subsidiary of Mattel Inc., said the "I Can" initiative supports three specific Girls Inc. programs - building girls' skills in science and math, developing leadership skills, and encouraging athletic skills and team spirit. "All of these aims are appropriate to our 7- to 12-year-old American Girl fans," the company said. "The American Girl brand exemplifies the values of wholesomeness and responsibility that we would expect any organization to commend."

Girls Inc., which traces its roots back to a center founded in Waterbury, Conn., in 1864, serves about 800,000 girls a year, many of them black or Hispanic and most from low-income families.

The "advocacy" page on its Web site lists some of the positions that roused conservative ire - for example a clear endorsement the 1973 Roe v. Wade court decision establishing a woman's right to abortion.

Girls Inc. also supports a girl's right to have access to contraception and pledges support for girls dealing with issues of sexual orientation.

Joyce Roche, the president of Girls Inc., said the New York-based organization had never before been targeted by a protest campaign. "We were taken aback," she said in a telephone interview Friday. "Our programs are well-respected. We're all about helping girls see possibilities and dream big dreams."

She said Girls Inc. takes positions on public policy issues if it believes women's rights and opportunities are at stake. "Our philosophy is that women should have the right to make decisions about themselves," Roche said.

One of the protest coordinators, American Family Association special projects director Randy Sharp, said the campaign was noteworthy because American Girl's products have long been favored by conservatives. Its dolls (full-sized models sell for more than $80) include a series from different eras of American history - such as Felicity, from the Revolutionary War, or Addy, who escapes from slavery during the Civil War.

"American Girl has won the trust of millions of conservative families," Sharp said. "It's very popular among the home school movement because of the values the company followed." "Now we find they're teaming up with Girls Inc., which supports the very things we oppose. It's very troubling."

Sharp said the AFA was not yet ready to call for a boycott, but he predicted that many conservative families - including his own - would be reluctant to keep buying American Girl products. "I think no question this will have a financial impact on American Girl," he said.

This all reminds me of a quote from the zombie movie Land of the Dead: "We do not negotiate with terrorists! " Once again, Christians have managed to reinforce my negative/unhopeful opinion of them. By the way, Jesus loves long as your not a dyke, gay, black or can form your own opinions (unless, of course, it makes for a good photo-op).

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Filthy Rich...and Spoiled Rotten

I recently recorded and watched a marathon of episodes of E!'s latest reality show Filthy Rich Cattle Drive. For those who aren't familiar with the show (I wasn't either), here's the synopsis: Filthy Rich Cattle Drive, a new "City Slickers" inspired reality series proves celebrity offspring really do have it all. Not only do they have famous last names, but they also have their own businesses, degrees from top schools, and most of all their own identities. Filthy Rich Cattle Drive gives famous children the opportunity to not only let the world know more about them as well as let the world that they are not just pretty faces with famous family members. *Think The Amazing Race with even more whiny assholes.

ROTFLMAO! Oh, sorry. I just read the last line of that paragraph "...let the world (know) that they are not just pretty faces with famous family members." If you watch the show you'll find out that that last statement is a total lie. Money and celebrity are all most of these spoiled, snobby little turds have going for them.

Vying for the Drama Pussy of the Year Award are George Foreman III (Son of boxing legend George Foreman; duh) and Fabian Basabe (Son of an Ecuadorian business tycoon; la dee frikkin' da). Wow, these two really took the cake. George for his dramatic tantrum after having his (and everyone else in the group's) cell phone taken away. Oh my God! You'd have thought they'd been told they were each receiving elective surgery: mastectomies and castrations. Jesus Christ. It speaks volumes about how out of touch these spoiled little prima donnas really are. But George threw the biggest tantrum (even bigger than Fabian, which in itself is quite an accomplishment), threatening to leave, walking off in a huff because he must have either cell phone or Internet access at all times, claiming that he alone is solely responsible for running his father's grill empire. Um, you know what? You're on a REALITY show. If you were any kind of "businessman" you'd have delegated authority to someone else BEFORE agreeing to do the show. Idiot.

Then there was Fabian (who I still don't know/care who he is. I do however, know what he is.) OMG, what a spoiled turd. He was the epitome of all those stereotypical rich turds some of us grew up seeing in those 80's teen movies. Had he been out of diapers long enough to see them all, he well could have been the mold in which all of them were formed. During one of his challenges (the group was divided up into 2 teams and each were given various "challenges" to complete in order to earn rewards) he and two of the female flakes were given a topographic map and told to locate the ingredients to a mixed drink (Cowboy Comets). Two+ hours later...still no ingredients, while everyone else had already been back at base camp for well over an hour. Brilliant. Apparently all that money and privilege can't buy you a brain. His reasoning? He just didn't have enough resources. According to him, if he'd had stuff like a compass, binoculars, global positioning equipment... Oy vey.

To be totally honest, the only reason I even continued to watch the show was because one of the participants is Noah Blake (son of Robert Blake...AKA Beretta... accused of shooting that scumbag Bonnie Lee Bakley). Noah is fuckin' HOT. I've had the biggest crush on him since I first saw him in 1989's Teen Witch and subsequently in the turdtacular (and short-lived...though longer than you'd expect) TV show version of Harry and the Hendersons in 1991. As far as I was concerned, the show was all about Noah. ROWR!

However, in all fairness, Shanna Ferrigno (daughter of The Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno...who I love, as you know) was actually pretty cool. If I had to pick a fave, aside from Noah, of course, it'd be her. Kudos to Shanna for not being a spoiled turd like her counterparts! So, if you think you can stomach it, check out the web site/schedule here. Back-to-back episodes today at 1:00PM and 2:00PM.

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