Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sweet Nothings

Some random thoughts and observations on that most fattening of holidays, All Hallows' Eve...

*I’m really disheartened by what people have done to Halloween. It’s just too commercialized these days. I mean, Halloween is meant to be a serene and reflective time. The air is getting colder, the leaves are changing color, and the dead are rising up to terrorize the living and feast on their flesh. Meanwhile, Satanists are having ritualized orgies to honor their overlord and master, the dark beast. And all Hershey’s cares about is selling more candy? Man, that just makes me sad. I really feel like we’ve lost something.

*Remember when you were a kid, and you wanted to dress up as Batman or Wonder Woman or Aqua-man or Spider-man (or whoever) and you’d have to settle for one of those lame-ass store bought costumes with a picture of the hero ON the chest? What the hell was THAT crap? Everyone knows the real Spider-man didn’t have a picture of HIMSELF on his costume! I think Dr. Octopus would probably pee himself laughing if he ran into Spider-man wearing his own picture on his torso. That is, right before he pummeled the webslinger to DEATH for being such a freakin’ pansy! I wouldn’t be caught DEAD in one of those get ups. Damn it, if I couldn’t look like the REAL Strawberry Shortcake, then forget about it, know what I’m saying?

*Speaking of costumes, what about that time you dressed up as Scooby Doo in the official Scooby Doo costume and you were all psyched because you begged your mom to get it for you, and you thought you looked totally bad-ass? And then you walked to the first house and some lady goes, “OH MY! There’s a wolf at the door! HENRY! COME LOOK AT THE WOLF!” Didn’t you just want to grab the clueless old crone by the collar and go, “HEY! GRANDMA! I’m SCOOBY DOO! GET IT RIGHT!!! SCOOBY DOO!!! What, you never seen a HANNAH-BARBARA cartoon??? SCOO-BEE-FREAKIN’- DOO!!!! Like it says on the FRONT! NOW GIVE ME THE DAMN SNICKERS BAR!!!!”

*One more thing about costumes: I think it would be a kick to dress your kids up in totally anachronistic characters, and then insist they picked them out themselves. You know, dress your 5 year old daughter up as the 1920’s comic strip heroine “Winnie Winkle” and insist that YOU were pushing for “Sharpay” from High School Musical. For extra points, get REALLY pissed if anyone mistakes her for “Tillie the Toiler.”

*Halloween is the perfect time for fears and phobias. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: You’re thinking how could an unbridled, testosterone-fueled he-beast like myself possibly be afraid of anything? Er… what’s that? You weren’t thinking that at all? Well why not? Ah, go eat some Mary Jane candy bars, why doncha. Anyway, it’s time for a confession. Ever since I was little, I’ve kind of had an irrational fear of giant squids. Yeah, you read that right. Squids. The giant kind. I don’t know what it means, so don’t ask me. I suspect it’s probably some kind of weird sexual thing, like every other phobia and fear out there. Hmmm. Maybe I shouldn’t have had sex with that giant squid back in the day.

*I loved that feeling of danger I would get when I went trick-or-treating in the suburbs as a kid. The sun would start going down, and we had already hit up everyone in our neighborhood for candy. Some of them twice. So we would start venturing over into the OTHER neighborhoods... It was never spoken, but there was always a clear line separating "home turf" from the "strange and alien worlds" of the suburbs we didn't know. We felt like we were really taking our lives into our own hands by crossing the "line," even though we were probably less than a quarter of a mile away in reality. The air would start getting colder and there was something very forbidden about it all. You never knew if the weird people who lived in the giant brown house at the end of a cul-de-sac no one ever went down were going to ax you to death and feed you to that dog barking its ass off in their backyard. And then, inevitably, you'd stay out too damn late and have to start making your way back in the dark. Sometimes, you'd knock on people's doors and you could barely find the way up to their house because they had the audacity to turn off their lights!!! Having a young, undeveloped noggin we didn't understand this was courtesy-speak for "It's time to stop trick-or-treating, kids." We were undeterred!!! How dare they turn off their lights at 10:30pm? Didn't they know Halloween officially runs until Midnight on All Saints Day!!??? Hey, spare the candy corn lady! I don't care if you gotta work in the morning. Bastards.

*The coolest person in the neighborhood back in the day would give out Marathon bars. They were like 19 feet long, I think. You could work on one of those a month or two, easy. Anything after the house giving out Marathon bars was truly anti-climatic. Snickers??? The "fun size?" They should have just called it the "lame size," for a little truth in advertising. And they're getting smaller too! I think nowadays they're roughly the size of, oh, an electron particle. The worst part of that is, the candy bar both exists and DOESN'T exist until you actually open your candy bag and look at it!!! That's quantum physics humour, kiddies.

Now get out there and invoke the wrath of evil spirits by emulating their form!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Coffee Calamity

My god, what is this world COMING TO?

Earlier today I went to purchase my morning coffee and the sign CLEARLY advertised vanilla, hazelnut and amaretto flavors. Having always been partial to the almond-tinged spirits, I asked the server to brew me up a cup of amaretto-flavored java and he had the utter temerity to inform me - get this - “No, we only have the vanilla and hazelnut.”

Naturally, my response was swift and unmitigated. “WHAT THE …??? No amaretto? What are we, philistines? NO AMARETTO??? That’s downright barbaric!!! Are you suggesting I ONLY drink the hazelnut, or even worse, the REGULAR coffee? What’s next, sacrificing virgins to the volcano god while TALKING TO PEOPLE FACE TO FACE instead of texting them???”

After a moment of palpable silence, which I’m sure was spent in ruminative penance for his barista-based sins, the server ever-so-contritely asked me, “So you want the vanilla or not, buddy? You’re holding up my freakin’ line here.”

Excuse me, VANILLA? HOHO! Can you imagine anything more plebeian? “Good LORD MAN!” I exclaimed. “That’s what the book-sniffers down at BARNES AND IGNOBLES drink, for heaven’s sake! SURELY you’re not suggesting I imbibe that swill? Do you honestly think I can sit in a meeting with the aroma of common VANILLA beans wafting from my mug? I’ll be laughed right out of the room!” Oddly, he seemed singularly unmoved by my fervent argument.

Then the server – by sheer accident, I’m sure - reached over the counter, knocked my blackberry out of my hands, and proceeded to spill a full pot of piping hot hazelnut coffee all over it. I know he immediately regretted his error because he loudly announced, “OOPS! SORRY!” while looking me straight in the eye. Sadly, he must have been having a bad day because he somehow managed to grab a SECOND brimmin’ pot of coffee (praline flavored) and likewise spill ITS contents all over my helpless “berry.”

Wow. Talk about clumsy! I almost felt bad for the poor schlub. Can you imagine being that clueless?

Consequently, my feet and lower legs are now are scorched with disfiguring third degree burns from the coffee splashing off the counter and soaking straight through my clothes. However, that indignity is but a trifling when compared to the social shame that comes from being forced to drink a rather pedestrian blend of medium-roast coffee beans.

Never mind that throwing some fancy flavors into a pot of coffee hardly makes it the epitome of refined living. The important thing is that I FEEL enlightened and cultured while continuing my endless descent into being a mindless tool. I’ll tell ya, it’s not easy being an upwardly-mobile pretentious a-hole in today’s fast paced society. You can’t even get a decent cup of overpriced amaretto coffee when you want one!!!

I have gazed into the inky black bottom of the coffee pot, and I have seen non-flavored coffee staring back at me.

The horror, the sheer horror of it all.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Jersey and Me: Weird Together

So a couple of weird things to report this month, which makes sense since you all know what month this is…

That’s right: It’s ROCK-TOBER!!! (Insert tasty electric guitar lick here)

Sorry, I was having a lame classic rock radio flashback… (shudder)

Anyway, the first weird thing to report is that there’s actually a new song up at ...Check it!

The second weird thing is that there’s a picture of yours truly in the latest issue of Weird New Jersey. It’s the most god-awful likeness of me ever committed to film, so be forewarned. No, seriously, I'm not kidding.

See ya soon.