Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Night Fun!

Chelsea's having her monthly books, booze, and bitchin' gathering, so I'm supposed to make myself scarce for the night. Since their conversations usually deal with topics that are not appropriate for male ears, I have no problem finding something to do to occupy myself for the night.


Yeah, I know the photo's horrible, but I'm not going for quality tonight. Honestly, when have I ever gone for quality material? Here's a shot of my desk as of 8 PM. Dinner was McDonald's tonight, even though I honestly can't stand most fast food. It's a rare occasion that I'll choose it over actually making something to eat, but this just felt like a McDonald's sort of night. That's the bacon habanero quarter pounder, and it honestly wasn't that good. The habanero sauce was rather spicy, but didn't really have much in the way of flavor. Still, it filled a few holes in my stomach, and gave me the fuel to get me through the evening.

It's hard to see, but scattered about my desk are some past and future post topics. Hey, want a closer look at some of them?

Ooh..action figures. I haven't written about most of these yet, though I'm sure you all remember ol' Mumm-Ra and Darth Vader over there. The great news about Big Daddy Darth? I finally found an original lightsaber for him. The tip is broken off, but no matter. You'll be seeing more about those Glyos guys in the near future, maybe as soon as tomorrow if I can get my motivators working early enough.

I always have a stack of books that I'm reading. The Aliens novel I picked up for free at a new shop that opened up in town. Speaking of which, I should probably do a post on that shop sometime in the near future as well. That Spawn/Batman comic will be coming up soon too. I don't want to talk about it too much here, but it taught me a lot about hype and disappointment.

Over here we have the multimedia section. That Fright Flicks cd on top is for our (hopefully) Halloween party this year. Right under there is the score from the first Batman movie, and then the soundtrack from Mortal Kombat. Next to those is a Transformers DVD set containing the third and fourth seasons. Chelsea got this for me a couple of Christmases ago, and I'm ashamed to admit I still haven't watched a single episode. Maybe if I keep it on my desk, I'll eventually watche'em all.

They'll have to wait until another night though. Tonight I'm watching..

Night of the Creeps is one of my most favorite "zombie" movies of all time. I like to think of it as the spiritual predecessor to "Slither", another great horror comedy (Horromedy?).  I usually save the horror movies for Halloween, but it's been so long since I've seen it unedited, I couldn't resist. It's cheesy as hell, but how can you not like space slugs that turn everyone into zombies? Plus, it has Tom "Halloween 3" Atkins. He's easily the best part of the movie, with his brash, no nonsense attitude, and surgical precision with a shotgun. He also has one of the best catch phrases ever for answering the phone, "Thrill me". I think I'm going to start using that one. Thrill me indeed...

You can't watch a movie without some sort of snacks. Chelsea and her friends always make a variety of snacks for their book club meetings, and tonight was no exception. This month's book was Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, so everyone brought a cereal-y snack. Cereal-y, that's a word right? No matter, I'm going with it. We're not worried about quality tonight, remember? I'm not a huge fan of  popcorn. I'll eat it, but I'm not going out of my way to buy it or make it. Anyway, I knew the girls were going to have a variety of snacks, so I snuck in to their stronghold dining room, and made off with a variety of snacks. And such tasty snacks they were. The multicolored cube at the top left was a Fruity Pebbles variation on the Rice Krispie treat. I think I actually prefer it to the original. Next to that, we have what was labeled as a "Hash" Brownie. I'm actually not sure what was in this one, but it was a brownie, and unless they're wrapped in plastic, brownies are always good. The last two are snacks that Chelsea made. The one of the left is a marshmallow skewered on a pretzel stick, dipped in chocolate, then rolled in crush Cocoa Puffs. The one next to it, is a Cocoa Puff ball made with corn syrup and peanut butter, and placed on top of a pretzel stick. They're like super indulgent lollipops. I washed them all down with a tall glass of ice cold milk, the perfect companion to sugary baked goods.

Once the movie was over, I was in the mood for some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle for the NES. On my first play through, it didn't take long for me to lose all my Turtles. I didn't even make it to the Dam level this time. In all my years, I've only managed to get through the Dam level once, and I'm pretty sure I was using the Game Genie that time around. Still, it was the only Turtles game around at the time, so we continued to play it, no matter how much it pissed us off.

Eventually, I got tired of getting my butt kicked by electrified sea grass, so I decided to surf around the web a bit. One of my favorite sites to visit is Dinosaur Dracula. I was a rabid reader of Matt's previous site, X-Entertainment, while I was in college. I was still a shy kid my first couple years of college, and X-E gave me something to all those times I was hanging out in my dorm room by myself. I'm also enjoying browsing through all your blogs tonight. Toyriffic, The Clawful Punch, Action Figure Adventures, Fully Jointed Play Things...Honestly, just look at my bloglist. You all entertain me, as well as inspire me. Okay, enough with this sappiness. It's almost 12, the book club is winding down, and I think my sugar rush is finally starting to peter out. Before I go, here's a shot of yours truly, in all my exhausted glory.

Hey, I told you I wasn't worried about quality tonight.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Stopping by the Blue Crow

There's an antique mall a few miles from my house called the Blue Crow. I haven't bought much from there lately, but I still enjoy walking around and seeing what the vendors are selling. I almost always find something interesting, but this is the first time I thought to bring my camera and actually document things. You'll either love me or hate me for that.

One vendor had a couple boxes full of comics, and I was surprised by just how many 80's toy lines had comics based on them. I just wish he wasn't so delusional, otherwise I would have bought every single one of these. There just aren't enough comics based on toys out there these days. I actually had a couple issues of Silverhawks and Visionaries, and they weren't that bad. Sure, they were just 24 page ads for the toys, but the art was great, and the stories weren't too cheesy.  I think they were secretly hoping to enjoy the same success as the Micronauts and ROM comics, both of which outlasted their toy lines by several years.

Again with the crazy prices. Buckaroo Banzai is one of my favorite B-movies, and I would have loved to own these comics. Not for $5 each though. I love how the second issue exclaims that it's the "Official Comics Adaptation of the Spectacular New Film!". guys thought it was going to be a blockbuster..that's so cute. I really wish it had done better at the box office, because I would have loved to see what kind of craziness the sequel would bring.

I'm kind of regretting not buying the Batman movie adaptation, even at $8. The 1980's Batman movie is one of my favorites, and I'm curious how they translated it into comic form. Did they go with the same artwork as the regular comic series, or did they make the characters look like their movie counterparts? Were some deleted scenes included within? Was Vicki Vale still hot? All questions that could have been answered if I wasn't such a tightwad.

The Masters of the Universe comic vexes me. Is it a comic adaptation of the live action movie, or of an animated movie? Check out that large Skeletor head in the background. I don't know what's going on with his jaw, but it looks like he's about to make a meal out of Teela and Man-At-Arms. Actually, this must be the live action movie, because there's Gwildor standing there and screwing around with his Cosmic Key.  It looks like they used a few of the villains from the film as well, since I see Blade there in his blue and yellow (?) uniform, along with what looks like General Karg behind him, and Beastman leading the charge. I don't see Saurod though, which is a shame. I don't think it was a coincidence that he had a slight resemblance to the Predator.

That's the definition of random right there. I always enjoyed The Adventures of Bayou Billy on the Nintendo, but I never expected to see him gracing the cover of a comic book. It's interesting that they pretty much copied the label from the NES cart, though it's in that Archie comics style. That's one thing I used to love about Archie. They gave me hope that I too could be a comic book artist. In fact, I actually put together a little mini comic, and most of the characters were traced right out of some Archie comics I had. I'd give my left toe to be able to find it, but I'm sure it's long, long gone.

Okay, enough with the comics, let's see what else I stumbled on during trip to the Blue Crow.

I've owned a few pencil toppers in my day, but I've never understood the point of them. Just look at how big these things are compared to a regular pencil. There's no way you'd get away with using that through a whole day of school without someone stealing it or making fun of you. Put one of these on your pencil these days, and you'd probably find yourself expelled. Each of them came with a backpack, but why you would want to add any more weight to these things, I do not know. I have to assume that these guys are based on the Rambo cartoon, since there wasn't a General Warhawk or a Black Dragon to be found in any of the movies. Ah, I miss the days of cartoons based on R-rated properties..

I actually had this California Raisin as a child. I don't mean this exact one, just the same one. Anyway..This one bugs me just a little, seeing as how it looks like one of the other California Raisins decided to put on high heels one day. Couldn't they add some more lipstick, or a hat or something? I thought these were fast food premiums, but it seems they were actually sold in stores at some point.

Was there a property that didn't get it's own lunchbox? I can kind of understand the Partridge Family, since they were rather family friendly and even had their own cartoon at one point. But "How The West Was Won" seems like an odd thing to put on a children's lunchbox. The kid that would ask for a lunchbox with John Wayne's visage on it seems like the type to get excited over a Lawrence Welk action figure. With real accordion action!

Keys. There were freaking bags upon bags of them in one vendor's booth. Who would buy a bag of random keys? Why would someone buy a bag of random keys. I don't know the answer to either question. I'm not sure the answer would make any sense.

Random Ghostbusters figures. I had the guy on the bottom, and he was actually one of my favorite Haunted Humans. When I look back on those toys, I like to pretend they've all been infected by John Carpenter's The Thing, rather than being possessed humans. It just makes their transformations so much more terrifying. My neighbor had the guy on top there, and I can't remember his name either. I just remember when you pulled the speed strip though him, he flew across the garage floor.

Ah, the Cowboys of Moo Mesa. I think Playmates were under the impression they had another hot property on their hands, but this one fizzled out pretty quickly. I remember seeing these figures hanging on the pegs years after they came out. Our local Rose's had them up until 2000 at least. I'm sure they were trashed or donated after that. They do seem rather plain compared to TMNT toys, and you can see that this one has very little in the way of paint applications. It's also a helluva lot smaller than I remember.

Initially, it took me a second to realize who this guy was. It's Earthworm Jim's arch nemesis, Psy-Crow. I remember there was a lot of excitement surrounding the release of  the Earthworm Jim game. I can't remember seeing anything else like it on the SNES or the Genesis. Once I finally got my hands on the game, was okay I guess. The graphics were amazing for the time, but I was never a fan of the controls or the gameplay. I remember getting to the last boss, and I accidentally jumped into the boss, causing it to explode. I still don't know what happened, but hey, a win's a win. I think the figures were based on the cartoon that was released a couple years later. Much like Batman in the 90's, most of the line was made up of Earthworm Jim figures, with a couple other characters mixed in. Unlike the Cowboys of Moo Mesa up there, this one would fit right in with Playmate's TMNT figures.

This is one of three horrifying things I stumbled across while I was browsing around. This doll came out in 1997, when Rosie O'Donnell had her own day time talk show. I can't believe I typed that sentence out. It really sounds like something I would say in the midst of an awful flu, after I've been running a fever all day. It's hard to imagine a time when Rosie O'Donnell was actually marketable as a talk show host and a stuffed doll. I'm still trying to figure out who the doll was marketed towards. Were kids really begging their parents for this monstrosity? Between the cold dead eyes, humongous head, and sound of her voice, this is the sort of doll that would make Stephen King sleep with the lights on. I decided to see if it still worked after all this time, and not surprisingly, it didn't. Instead the speaker issued forth a gurgling, creaking sound reminiscent of The Grudge. I was starting to get a little freaked out, so I decided it was best to distance myself as far away from the doll as possible.  When I walked by it again a little later, it was still croaking at me, no doubt angry that I had awakened it.

When I saw this robot, I thought I had stumbled across merchandise from an unreleased sequel to "Magic Mike". Then I realized I had the exact robot as a child, only mine was gold in color. These robots were produced in 1984  by New Bright, a company famous for having toys that smoked. Seriously. You could add a small drop of oil to a hole in his head, and he blow smoke from the hole in his mouth. New Bright also made a line of remote controlled construction equipment that would blow smoke from their stacks while you were using them. I actually have a kind of terrifying story to go along with the Magic Mike that I had. I was playing with my toys in the hallway of our old house, and for whatever reason, my Magic Mike would randomly start and stop moving. I turned the switch off, but it still kept moving. I was starting to freak out a little bit, so I took the batteries out and set him down. I started playing with my other toys, when I thought I saw Magic Mike move again out of the corner of my eye. I looked over at him, the hairs on the back of my neck standing straight up. I picked up Mike, and flipped him over. Sure enough, the switch on his back was still off. For some reason, I flipped it to the "On" position, and the robot started moving around and making noise again. I dropped him to the floor, and ran out of the hallway, screaming the whole way. It took me a while, but I calmed down a little bit, and went back into the hallway. I kept thinking, "Maybe I didn't really take the batteries out after all." I picked Magic Mike off the floor, turned him around, and popped the door off the battery compartment. Empty. Completely empty. I didn't play with Magic Mike II after that.

These are Christmas decorations. CHRISTMAS! Look at them. I mean really look at them. These are the other two horrifying things I discovered during my time in the Blue Crow. They resemble the damned spawn of Chucky and a Cabbage Patch Doll. It makes me uncomfortable just looking at the pictures. I can't tell what the one on the bottom is holding, but it looks like it really wants to shove it through whoever is standing to the right. The top one is obviously trying to lull his victim into a false sense of security by pretending to read a book of carols. It's clearly a ruse, since I can feel his gaze burning its way through my soul. That's the look someone gives you when they've already figured out what they'll be making out of your skin. My new ultimate fear is going into someone's home at Christmas time, and discovering they bought these things for decorations. Knowing my luck, they'll be set up in the guest room that I have to sleep in.

After those two, even these things don't creep me out anymore.

I got a little excited when I came across this Super Heroes case. I had visions of a case full of Mego, or even better, Super Powers action figures. Alas, it was just a simple record player. Just a side not, I didn't notice the Burger King or Ronald McDonald up there in the top picture until just now.

Well, that about wraps up this trip to the Blue Crow. With as much stuff as they have there, I could probably make this a semi-regular feature. Of course, I've already proven my regular features are anything but regular. I'm also not sure how the folks feel about me running around taking photos of everything. Either way, keep your fingers crossed, because I'm sure I'll make another trip up there again in the near future.

Until then, try not to think about this thing, inching  toward your bed. You close your eyes, hoping it goes away, but each time you open them, it's even closer than it was before.

Then you feel its weight on the bed, and you open your eyes one last time..

You'll make a delicious wallet.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The first nightmare...

This week's assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers:

What a nightmare!

I'm not sure when I had my first nightmare, but I'm pretty certain it was before I had seen my first horror movie. I feel like I still remember it well, even though it was over 20 years ago. 

The dream started out with me waking up in my room. I couldn't figure out why I woke up, but I could tell something wasn't right. The moon was high and bright, and shining into my room, allowing me to see shapes but not much else. I sat up in my bed so I could look around, but I never let my eyes stare at one spot for too long. When I did, I always thought I could see something moving within the shadows. Then I heard a sound from my parent's room, and the door that connected our two rooms slowly started opening. It stopped halfway, and a bony white hand, with very long fingers wrapped around the door frame. I was paralyzed with fear, heart pounding in my chest, too numb to breathe. The door opened wider, and I could hear "them". Whatever was hiding in the darkness was talking to each other, a gibbering sound that physically hurt my ears. It was then that I realized the creatures were moving closer. I could partially see the first one in the moonlight, and all I wanted to do was close my eyes and never open them again. It resembled a human skeleton, except its limbs were bent at unnatural angles, and it walked on its hands and feet. The other creatures behind it were similarly skeletal, with limbs and bodies out of proportion to one another. When they moved, they made an awful creaking sound, and some of them laughed horribly when they saw me cowering in the bed. They moved like they were in a stop motion film, jerky, yet way too fast at the same time. 

My courage finally gives out, and I leap from my bed, run out into the hallway, and go down the stairs. The whole time I can hear this group of monster coming for me, with their ear-shattering screams, and the "click-clack" of their bones on the wooden floor. All the lights were on downstairs, and I took that as a good sign. Maybe I would be safe in the light.  I ran into the living room, hoping that my dad would be there to protect me. I was too late. My mom and dad were already gone. I don't know if they were killed, or if they were able to escape, but I remember knowing that there would be no one there to save me. I could hear the things getting closer, and I could see smaller ones crawling on the walls and the ceilings. I tried to find a place to hide, but the small ones would always find me. Then they would call out in their gibbering, painful voice, guiding the larger monsters to where I was. Finally, I ran into the dining room, and hid under the table. A bony creature that was just two legs attached to a head sat in one of the chairs staring at me. Then its eye opened wide, and it started to grin, showing me its gaping maw of sharp and bloody teeth. I curled up into a ball, and closed my eyes. I didn't want to see anymore, and I just wanted it to be over with. I felt something powerful grab my ankle and yank me from under the table. I rolled over onto my back, and stared up into the creature's face, too terrified to even scream. It had deep, dark sockets where its eyes should have been, and a mouth full of what looked like millions of teeth. I was starting to find my voice, and was about to scream in terror, when this thing lifted one finger to its mouth and said, "Shhh..". I closed my eyes...

...And then I woke up screaming. It was a rather terrifying nightmare for a 4 year old. I had more dreams about these creatures over the years, but none as frightening as the first. It seemed they had their fun in that first nightmare, and were content to just make their presence known after that. I wish I could find some pictures that could give you an idea of what they looked like, but I've had no luck finding anything so demented. They remind me of the sort of creatures you'd read about in H.P. Lovecraft; twisted mockeries of life, with unnatural proportions and unintelligible speech. Thankfully, it's been a long time since I've had any dreams about what I've decided to call, "the Bone People." Still, there's a little part of my mind that remains just a little fearful that they may still be there, lurking somewhere in the deepest depths of my psyche, waiting for the right moment to terrorize me again..


Let's see what caused some of my fellow League Members to wake up screaming.

The Goodwill Geek and I watched some of the same movies, and dreamed about some of the same monsters.

Random Nerdness and I were both scared of Freddy and murderous cyborgs.

Ashley of Life with Fandom is worried the Russians are coming! 

G.I. Jigsaw's nightmare was all too real. 

Vikkiverka's gender bending nightmare creeped me the hell out.

Grey from Achievements in Gaming shares another's real life nightmare.

pop! pop! it's trash culture proves that G.I. Joe is Cobra's worst nightmare!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Random Picture Post!

Somehow I always end up taking photos with the idea that I'm going to do a blog post on the subject, then I get distracted and forget what I was doing. So here's a post dedicated to all those lonely and neglected photos.

I was in Wal-Mart when this little guy caught my eye. These are Man of Steel Quick Shots, and they turn your favorite characters from the movies into launchable projectiles. Okay...You know when a package screams "TRY ME!", it's futile to resist the urge to do just that. So I grabbed Zod's legs, pulled, and let go. The force of Zod's arms snapping back into place launched him off the peg hook, and into the toys on the top of the shelf. I stood there stunned, as toys several pegs down were knocked to the floor. As I started cleaning up the mess I'd made, I kept mentally kicking myself, because what other result could I have expected?

We went down to Myrtle Beach, SC for Chelsea's family reunion, and there are some shots I took from our suite. The wave action was a little disappointing, most of them really didn't have much power at all. Still, the water was nice and warm, a far cry from the frigid sea water I'm used to here. That last shot is one of the several lazy rivers they had in the resort area. I really wanted to like the lazy rivers, but they were so overrun by rambunctious children that I couldn't relax for fear of having my tube overturned. Also, you weren't allowed to bring alcohol in with you. BOO!

On the way home, we stopped at Broadway at the Beach to do some shopping and grab a bite to eat. While we were walking around the area, I came across this little guy. Sure, he's a T-Rex, but look at how cute he is. He even let me  jump on his back. I begged Chelsea to let me bring him home, but she put the kibosh on that idea. "No pet dinosaurs," she said. Pssh..I'll show her.

Another shot from Broadway.  Those are real honest to goodness pay phones! With coin slots and everything! I was tempted to make a phone call, but I didn't have any change.

We made a quick stop at the Ripley's Aquarium so Chelsea could pick up a gift for a friend's kid. I was just standing around and killing time when I spotted the  giant anglerfish on the lower level. Anglers are one of my favorite deep sea creatures, even if they are absolutely terrifying. I know they only get up to 3 feet long, but I used to have nightmares where I was being chased in a pond by one that was the same size as the one in the picture. I'd finally get away from the creature, and crawl up on the shore line, gasping for breath. As I started calming down, I'd open my eyes and see the moon, seconds before realizing that it wasn't the moon at all. The last thing I'd see before I woke up was a mouth of giant, yellow fangs closing in on me. On second thought, maybe I don't like anglerfish that much after all.

I've seen Collision Course, and it's not too terrible. I'm not sure I like it enough to want to own it, even if it is only $3. Still, it's hard to find an odder pairing than Pat "Mr. Miyagi" Morita and Jay "Biggest Chin in Late Night" Leno.

I saw this, and immediately understood why I've seen Larry the Cable Guy lending his image to Prilosec OTC. Then I find out proceeds from his food sales go to his charity, the Git-R-Done Foundation.  Dammit, Larry. Now I feel like a jerk.

I was going to do a Fun Food Friday on these two, but I was on vacation and....well I just forgot about them. I don't have much to say about them, other than they taste just as advertised. Frank's Red Hot Pringles taste just like the hot sauce, and the Cheeseburger Pringles taste just like a McDonald's Cheeseburger. Actually, just about every cheeseburger flavored chip taste like McD's. They're good, but they're so damn salty my lips felt like they had been partially mummified. Enjoy them in small servings, or at least keep a ton of beverage handy.

Here's a shot of Chelsea, getting ready to go on a shrubbery massacre. It was a horrifying spectacle, parts were just strewn everywhere and not a single bush was spared. Good thing I know how to clean up a crime scene.

This is the last photo, I promise. This is just a shot of Chelsea from one of our lunch excursions. There's not much of a story for this one, I just really like this photo of her.

Okay, the food was pretty good too. It was literally the best she crab soup I've ever had.

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