9 Things I Don’t Regret Buying

Before I begin this post about frivolous spending to decorate an office that should be renamed “Josh Baskins’ apartment”, I need to say something about the passing of Robin Williams.

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He died today. I never knew him but the effect he had on me was nothing short of the impact of losing a family member and maybe we can all blame that on this TV generation. I loved him as a small kid on the show Mork and Mindy, cheered in the theater with Hook, confused by Mrs. Doubtfire, cried for his character in Good Will Hunting and forever changed by Dead Poet Society. He is gone but like all great people, his legacy is forever. It’s not like me to be emotional but you, Robin, were a giant and your fall has crushed me.

So! With drier eyes I will now get on with the show. I have been so very busy between work and this crazy upcoming season that I have been finding smaller enjoyment by drinking a couple of glasses of wine at night and let my fingers do the shopping via iPad. You know what that leads to? That’s right, a surprise package a couple of weeks later and possible re-gifts later in the year.

This is what I have acquired thanks to eBay, online links and the random local antique shops who have no idea what gold is hiding in their inventory. Well, not gold they may consider but gold to me.

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WUUUUT? You mean to tell me that President Nixon had Charles Shultz in his political pocket? No way. No way, no how. But I have to hand it to the campaign! They knew how to get to the Halloween and Pagan voters, although in the 1960/70’s, being a macabre lover was a bold underground reach. If I had this hung on my doorknob it would be difficult if not impossible to vote another way.

I saw this on eBay and bought it for a friend. I honestly can not believe I won this for only $10 which leads me to question its authenticity. Made of cardboard paper and in amazing shape, I will say this was an actual campaign door-hanger but can not be an original. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love it any less. I never buy things for monitory worth. It’s VeggieMacabre worth and this is worth 17,900,453 Plinkyplanks which is my currency. Equivalent to three pounds of wild cherry Starbursts. So, a lot!

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Say it ones, say it twice, third times the charm…

Holy shit, it is the cleverly placed ad that fell out of the Guidebook For the Recently Diseased. Er…Deceased!

I loved this the second I laid eyes on it and I knew it had to be mine. Tim Burton has a way with making the supernatural feel completely normal and this extermination ad has been planted in my brain since 1988. It’s even perfectly torn to hide the treacherous third “Beetlegeuse” so not to accidentally resurrect the deceased graduate of Julliard who has seen The Exorcist way too many times.

The role reversal in this ad is fantastic, even making the fleeing family obese. I have tried pausing the scene in the movie and while I don’t think it’s 100% a match, the fact it’s prepackaged with the same fold lines makes it pretty great. If I find another, I will place this in a gospel next time I go to church. So…stay tuned this Christmas.

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Shitassdickticklefuck!- “If I fake Tourette’s I know I don’t have it.” – Bob Whiley

Can you believe Jack Palance was Dracula?!?! This happened. Not only did that happen but the “Queen of Macabre” and “Mistress of the Dark”, Elvira hosted this ThrillerVideo copy on VHS and I feel like smacking my thumbs with a hammer for not having a VCR. Holy shit! I love Jack Palace and he shit bigger than Billy Crystal which we all know, but at the end of the day, it’s all about Elvira. ALL ABOUT ELVIRA.

I paid $1.00. The curse of Dracula ain’t so bad.

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Back in my day we like the fast food advertisements. We even wore them to work! Well, maybe some people did who worked there. I lucked out and found this in a pile of ties in the town of Pittsboro, NC. They gave it to me for free. How many McMuffins do you think I will score, mang?

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Another conundrum by having the means without the way. I have a classic collection of Simpson episodes placed in amazing packaging and no way to view them. The same place I score the tie and the Jack Palance Dracula video but this time I paid the price of $7.00. Pretty awesome considering the going rate on eBay is $29.

I love the Simpson macabre episodes and this collection is not just the Halloween episodes but the darker ones which makes my cold blood a degree higher. Plus, it’s strange to see the biology of The Simpsons. Their skeletal structure includes their hairline. BEEEESH!

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What the fuck was Max Headroom? Seriously. It seemed like a glitchy advertisement which 80’s companies could not harness well until Back To The Future 2 came out and even then relied on the the dickhole from Iran and Michael Jackson instead of Max. “BBBBBeans”.

The only reason I bought this was because of a family get-together in New Jersey with the whole family during Christmas sometime around when the Max Headroom show was popular. My drunk step uncle was telling a joke about how to blame the dog for farts and made my great-aunt laugh so hard she leaned down and started a forward momentum which resulted in a run/fall/hip injury. I was a little kid and before being rushed from the room had to hear, “Rose needs another pair of panties. Go upstairs and get some panties!

This will be passed alone to one of you luck readers.

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I own half of a set of Pac-Man glasses. Paid waaaay too much for these. But milk looks better with a black fore-drop.

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The toy among toys, the ships among ships, the movie among movies; the Millennium Falcon. Good Christ I wanted this toy so bad but sadly had to get pieces of it at a garage sale in the early 1990’s for .50.  At that time I really didn’t care about the fun of starship toys but rather the defeated marathon race runner who crossed the finished line with the final words, “see…told you I would own it.” Then died.

Today as an adult, I found a place which sells a couple of Millennium Falcons and I bought not only this one but the another just to throw it out of my sunroof. Apparently it IS impossible to make the jump to light speed without R2-D2’s help.

Bought it for a cool $20. Thanks to my buddy at a store already blogged about.

(hint hint read more on this blog)

Okay, we come to the last item. This was not a drunken eBay item or a flea market find. This has been a dream since I was five years old. See, I grew up in Marietta, Georgia in the early 80’s and lived only a half-mile from Showbiz Pizza Palace. My dream was to have a tunnel from my room to the their main game room in that restaurant. Honestly, it was actually proposed to my parents many times before I finally moved out to go to college.

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Today, I have all these games in an arcade platform and no quarters are needed. I’ve played seven of the sixty.

I guess old and silly fantasies feel good to finally capture though the chase is sometimes more rewarding than the catch. I love this arcade game, don’t get me wrong, but deep down I still want a tunnel to Showbiz after all.

Thanks for not completely judging me for these silly buys. I thought you might like a few and actually, if you read along you might be the new owner of  most of these finds. FOR FREE! Keep posted because it is coming!

Who is excited for September? Me Me Me!

Crazy Christmas Martini Sets

A few weeks ago I was cruising through the grocery store and walked past a rack of magical red and green martini shakers and thought, “Will/Bill, should probably talk about these” but instead I put them off for a later day. That day was yesterday when I found an evening to go out and finally buy them. The problem was they were nowhere to be found. Absolutely my luck.

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The gods, however, took pity on me and I only needed to go to eleven stores before I found the same display with three Holiday Martini Shakers. This time there was an extra one in the group, pomegranate. I scooped up all three and headed for the door. Well, first the register. That’s when I learned the value of having a membership card to the grocery store because the price on the display said $4.99 but upon checking out it jumped to a gut-punching $7.99. So, this vlog cost a bit more including higher quality booze. I can’t handle the charcoal filtered plastic bottles like , Mr. Miller’s vodka.

I apologize for the length but I had to cover all three and show you how I can screw up the easiest of martinis and margaritas. Plus, I got to use my office blender and I love showing that thing off.

Turn off the brain and watch me make a mess.

Flea Market Madness and a Horror Bake Shop

It’s not everyday when you find a place that is made for your little tiny insignificant spot on the internet. For a long time, I didn’t think that place existed. Well, not in this state anyway. But that all changed on Saturday when I had enough of a break from the world of responsibilities to go on a little adventure. I would have no idea what an adventure it would turn out to be.

I took a chance and went to my first flea market and whoa-nelly, what an experience!

Right away I knew this was blog worthy. I wasn’t even past the front door yet and the camera on the phone was primed.

No guns? Okay, I agree with that. No smoking? Sure! NO SNAKES? What kind of place is this?

This place was massive. It was a covered bizarre full of hundreds of venders and millions of oddities. I love this stuff and it was well worth the risk of being beaten with a Vietnamese bamboo shaft for an unwelcome photo moment. I had to be sure the flash was off. This was no place for a mistake like that.

Before I get into the obvious weirdness of a flea market I need to tell you level of people watching was all the way to eleven. Like this guy, for an example. A tough biker dude with gloves and a Harley shirt but has a butt bigger than my Junior year’s English teacher. This guy is clearly living on the edge…by eating Big Macs while riding a motorcycle. That’s talent, my friends.

I’m going to stop being mean now.

So this place exists. Like chocolate and peanut butter, mustard and hotdogs, Jason Vorhees and campers, hiphop and Kung Fu just makes sense. It’s hard to believe that this guy took an idea like this and ran with it but he did and we are all better for it. I didn’t venture inside the cage because I couldn’t see myself actually buying anything and he seemed very intense on the phone. I opted for this photo and to me, that alone is a gift.

This sign speaks the truth! Behind it sits an angry, albeit much smaller, Chinese man who I did not want to cross. Even though his store is mainly old cellphones and video games, he also gives out mean glares. But it seems he does have a sense of humor. I tried to by an iPhone 5 charger and was met with some confusing questions like “You power on for car?” and “I give you two for three!”. At that point smiling, nodding and backing away was my only choice. Then running.

Oh the swords. There were so many swords. Any cutting and stabbing weapon you can imagine was there. The really funny thing was the vendors who sold them. It turns out grandmas know quite a bit about the ways of the samurai. If you ever wanted to be a ninja vigilante, this is your first stop. Talk to Bobby Sue. She’s the one with a cat tattoo on her huge left arm and wearing a number four Talladega race day shirt.

I am always a sucker for Garfield ripoffs, especially when he is trying to eat a jumbo sausage but not before taking a test lick. I appreciate that this wasn’t a total ripoff, though. The artist did leave off his stripes. If there is one thing cats love it’s spicy sausage. Owners do not share this love.

There were so many little spaces like this that had no real organization or way to keep account of what stuff they had. It’s a mystery to me how they sell anything at all. Is this where hoarders buy their junk? Because I can see how they would think their lifestyles are normal if they shop here all the time.

If most of this bizarre was set up this way I would have merely peeked around a bit and called it a day. I hate wasting a Saturday inhaling asbestos when I don’t have to. But lucky for me, around the next corner was a day maker.

What the shit? Is this real life? There is no way a Halloween bakery exists in June. It’s as if God Himself guided me to this place knowing full well I needed blog material and there I stood, looking at cupcakes and Freddy Krueger AT THE SAME TIME! If ever there was a place that embodies VeggieMacabre, this was it.

Everybody was at the party, too! Here we see Pinhead holding his “box of fun” and hinting that the orange limeade is really refreshing. You have to be careful when taking his advice, however. His version of a good limeade has fishhooks at the bottom.

The walls are covered in severed limbs and menacing tools along with occasional macabre news articles. I especially love the skull wreath. During the Halloween season you could actually keep it up through Christmas without the neighbors having a leg to stand on. It is a wreath!

We see here a most excellent Halloween mood table originally coined by Matt of Dinosaur Dracula. A Halloween Mood Table is a hodgepodge of anything that gets you in the Halloween mood. Here we see quite a bit of great stuff but looking closer I am kicking myself for not noticing the Wolfman teeth with a toothbrush conveniently next to it. I could be writing this article wearing Wolfman teeth had I paid closer attention.

As if this place could not be anymore charming, there was even daily horror trivia. AND GOOD TRIVIA TOO! What place can you honestly think of that has a daily question involving a Dario Argento movie? If you can, I will personally learn this dance and film it for a vlog.

So after gushing all over the poor girl who owns this little plot of awesomeness, I had to buy something. The cupcakes with little dinosaurs and aliens on top were cute but I didn’t have an appetite for sweets. It wasn’t the severed heads or dead vampire babies that killed it, I just don’t have much of a sweet tooth. So, I opted for the lemon orange limeade. Not too bad. It had a hint of orange, lemon and lime without fishhooks or ears! B minus.

I like to think that this Pooh receptical has a story to tell. I am most certain he does not belong on a normal trashcan but something to match his top. Perhaps he came from some amusement park years ago only to end up outside of a mexican frozen treat stand in a flea market. It’s kind of sad. I gave him my spooky limeade.

Oh man, it’s the “Make you’re own smell” guy! What a concept! The dude was a character too and no one was safe from harassment when passing by his cube. I don’t think I need to go into his poor choice of a business name because words like “scent” or “essence” didn’t rise to the top of his list.

I bet he is the type who insults people when he means to compliment them. You know, like saying “your face isn’t as fat as it used to be” or something like that. I don’t believe words are his strong point but hopefully making “smells” are.

Not all shops were so strange. This was a killer vintage toy store that was full of some of my favorite childhood memories. Since the show Toy Hunter has been my mandatory Wednesday night watch, I have been fascinated by how much these toys go for. And oddly curious to see how much money I could have made by simply taking care of my stuff. It’s a little sickening.

This place had a ton of stuff from Star Wars to GI Joe to Transformers. What caught my eye the most were the Masters of the Universe line and TMNTs. All of them were unboxed in a giant bin for $3 a piece and the old lady in a wheel chair was bargaining with me for the whole set. I just don’t know enough about toys to buy a huge box of a mishmash of characters. Plus her constant nagging over what I need was a little too reminiscent of this…

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I escaped with a future post worthy toy that I will write soon. I love it and soon you will too.

What I thought would be an hour trip turned into three and I still had a long list of real chores to do so I made my way to the exit feeling very fulfilled with my findings for that Saturday. But just before I was about to leave I spotted this..

Do you know what this is? It’s a fully automated embroidering machine. They just type in a word or phrase and the machine will stitch it on to most any article of clothing. And it costs next to nothing! You could write “ALLEN THICKE IS A DICK” on a piece of paper, slide it to the clerk and before you know it, you have a shirt advertising you disdain for the dad on Growing Pains. It’s not magic but it makes me feel magical.

You know I had to.

They forgot the dot.

Thanks for reading.

Inspiration from a Skating Wall-Walker

Inspiration doesn’t come easy these days. I try to find it by volunteering or helping those less fortunate but even then it’s a fleeting moment of “meh”. I’ve been sucked into corporate America and closing on a house, so soon I will be assimilated into the masses who go to Home Depot on Saturdays and become an active member of a home owners association. While it is necessary to leap forward as an adult, I still do require a bit of inspiration that reminds me of simpler times. And that happened a few weeks ago when I took some kids roller skating.

Let’s be clear, I don’t skate. Charlie don’t surf, Billy don’t skate. I will, however, watch those who do and that’s mainly hoping for wipeouts or older male teens who have roller skate dance-offs. I like to laugh at misfortune. But after an hour or so the hilarity diminishes and I am forced to complain that the music stinks or the fact sweaty kids are gross. My volunteering for the local rotary chapter always turns out to be more painful than I anticipate.

I don’t know how roller skating was decided as the activity I was chaperoning but I will say, stepping into a roller rink building is like stepping back to 1987. This carpet agrees. There is not much that can change besides the music and if the main activity is roller skating in circles and a few limbo games, you gotta stick to what works. Even the arcade barely changed, I assume. There is no way a place would buy half of these “push the quarters off the ledge” machines.

I think what really hits the nostalgia bone is the fact nearly 90% of all the elementary and middle school birthday parties I was invited to was hosted at Sparkles Roller Rink. And I hated every single one of them. The reason being is I can’t skate. To this day I have the worst balance and if there are wheels under my feet, my face is on the floor. What made it even worse was being forced to wear the damn skates because everyone else would know I suck. By putting them on I could at least hang on to something and avoid the constant torment of adults questioning what wrong with me like “aren’t you having fun?” or “are you feeling okay?”. If there is anything worse than your peers making fun of you it’s the parents of the birthday kid asking if you wanted special treatment. I always opted for catastrophic falls and holding on for dear life to an awful video game no one wanted to play and without of quarters.

Lost in my own thoughts when I should have been watching the kids we brought, I spotted something that I had not seen in years. It was a roller skating wall-walker. And what really blew my mind was the fact he had to be at least 60!

This is not the greatest picture but in a room full of strange kids, I had to take my pictures quickly and discreetly.

As you can see he is walking that wall. It’s clear that if this wasn’t his first time on skates it had to have been at least 40 years since he has graced the rink. It was both inspiring and a little nerve-racking. This dude’s hips were in definite danger especially when negotiating the breaks in walls that were for access to the rink. There were a few “whoa” moments and even a spill or two.

Every time he completed a lap (which took 20 minutes) I was certain he would just return to a bench and join the other adults who, by the way, had their feet firmly planted to the ground. But no, he just started a new lap. It was like watching a goose trying to cross a highway. He didn’t give a shit.

Around the fourth lap or so, I had to give this guy some encouragement. So I waited until he crawled his way past my side of the rink and I said “way to go, man!”. He shot me a look like I just told his daughter to wear shorter dresses. I was a little taken aback because I had been so impressed with his resilience and stubbornness to master an activity designed for an 8 year old that I was certain he would give me a thumbs up. Nope, he was a bit of a dick.

Well, even though his attitude towards me was shitty, I am still inspired by his determination to both look foolish and not give up. I can’t imagine the amount of aspirin this dude had to take the next day. I saw him flail and flop on the ground no less than a dozen times. So, every time I am engaged in a long and arduous activity I will think of the 60 year old wall-walker and remember, don’t give up.

Okay, I just reread this post and I disagree with all of this. The guy never got better at skating but in fact much worse. He should have given up the second he started tap dancing backwards and making arm gestures like a mime pulling an imaginary rope. He lost 16,000 man points and I can’t imagine at 60 years old, someone would aspire to be a decent roller skater. There are so many other great activities that don’t require you to look like a cat with tape on its feet.

Sorry for all of this. Happy Thursday!

 

 

 

Four Drinks That Are Terrible For You. But Fun.

I think this is a good time to write this particular post since I am beyond exhausted after a hellish trip to nowhere. Literally, I ended up nowhere only to come into work destroyed and ready for another weekend. I half blame US Air and half blame the fucking asshole who took my briefcase when I was shutting my eyes after not sleeping for a day. But that is history and now I want to tell you about themed energy drinks from pop culture gold. Ba-zing.

I found these tucked in the far back aisle of the Five Below store. If you are unfamiliar with the Five Below store, it’s like a general store but specifically for an eleven-year-old girl. Why was I there, you ask? I needed 3 foot long Twizzlers and I heard they sold them. They did. But in that endeavor, I also found these.

Okay, let’s get this one out-of-the-way. I know almost nothing about My Little Ponies and to be honest, I needed a tough and macabre background just to save a little dignity for this site. But who am I kidding, I kissed dignity bye-bye a long time ago. You will notice the Famous Monsters magazine from an older post as the backdrop and 3-D Monster dot com’s art in sticker form below the can. I say that makes up for a girl toy.

Anyway, Rainbow Dash’s Fizzy Cherry Splash energy drink is something you never want to feed a kid. Why it exists at all, I have no idea. It is a pink sour drink that only has a purpose to quickly transport 28 grams of sugar into the veins for an instant up and a terrible crash. If you give this to an eight year old girl she will grow a beard, jump on the roof and start singing “Strange Love” by Depeche Mode until the high disappears leaving her trapped on the roof. Then you will need to throw up another can but she will only be chasing the dragon, much like what Rainbow Dash is appeared to be doing. It’s a sad and twisted cycle. But what do you expect when you read “Hasbro” on the side of an edible product?

To sum this up, take a cherry Otter Pop and melt it. Then add a wee little bit of carbonation and ta-da, you have Fizzy Cherry Splash. And it will kill you.

Here we are! Pac-Man will always save the day when it comes to weird novelty items. There is something that is timeless about the big ol’ wheel of ghost eating cheese. I never got into the spinoff cartoon or future video games that expanded on the Pac-Man universe so it’s hard for me to really understand his diet. I guess it was primarily ghost sheets, an occasional cherry and a lot of Kix cereal? But we are drifting from the drink.

It’s not quiet as in-your-face-terrible-for-you like the My Little Pony energy drink because this one actually has vitamin B and B12. Not a lot but hey, even 1% is better than none. The flavor is pretty tough to put a finger on especially when the color hints at cherry but it’s not. The can doesn’t even help. The closest guess I had was either cyanocobalamin or hydrochloride. HYDROCHLORIDE??? What the fuck am I drinking? Isn’t that what takes the algae off house siding? What ever it is, the taste is closest to Juicy Fruit. Poisonous, poisonous Juicy Fruit.

Power up with Nintendo Power! Boy, if there is something that will get me to look away from a burning car for a second it’s a glimpse of Nintendo nostalgia. It’s not that I was really into Nintendo growing up all that much (unless you are talking about Super Mario 2) but it’s just gets me warm and fuzzy. And the thought of getting a real 1up in a can from Mario makes me warmer.

God, that last sentence doesn’t sound good.

Upon tasting this Power Up energy drink it was equally mysterious in flavor. So I compared the Pac-Man drink against this one and it was like comparing two blank sheets of paper. Then I realized I am an idiot and confirmed both energy drinks are the exact same. I felt like I had been looking for my sunglasses in the house and being pissed off at how dark things are only to find them. On my face.

Yes folks, it’s all in the packaging so if you want to know how this energy drink tastes, try to remember what you just read above.

This next drink deserves a little more attention. So I shot a video.

Well folks, there you have it. A few energy drinks from iconic 80’s and 90’s pop culture and it only cost me a year off my life and possible tooth abrasion. I do it all for you.

The evil geniuses behind these drinks are the good people of Boston America Corp. I guess I should thank them.

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