Dinosaur Dracula!

Shrunken Apple Head’s Birthday!

I’m on my horrible laptop, swiping power from a friend’s generator. The storm knocked out our electricity, and it might not be back for a week. (Fortunately, that’s all the storm knocked out. Our problems are trivial compared to the total insanity surrounding us. Good luck to everyone who was affected way worse.)

It’s around 10 PM Tuesday as I write this – just hours from Halloween. Of course, Halloween has pretty much been canceled around here. Parents were encouraged to put the kibosh on trick-or-treating, though I don’t doubt that we’ll still get a few knocks tomorrow. Kids have been waiting a whole month for this candy, and like the Whos of Whoville, nothing can put a damper on their holiday spirit. If there weren’t giant trees falling at every other street corner, I’d admire the romance.

I feel a little guilty writing anything at all, because man, we are surrounded by some awful shit. Anything I put here would seem trivial at best, disrespectful at worst. On the other hand, if I don’t do this now, Shrunken Apple Head will spend the next twelve months pouting like a mofo.

Today was his birthday. Not officially, but when you’re an apple, even a late birthday is pretty incredible. Shrunken Apple Head first appeared in a 2003 X-E article, and then several times more in later blogs. This year, he turned 9. Even after all of this time, he still looks like Doc Brown. Read More…

Madd Matt’s Halloween Party.

I was going to save this for later, but there is no way I’ll have power later. Thus, you will suffer now.

Happy Halloween! If the storm doesn’t destroy me, there’s still more to come. :)

Pumpkin Spice Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

It’s 7 in the morning. I haven’t been to sleep yet. Instead, I’m writing about cream cheese, rushing to beat the sunrise, because it will crack my skin and turn me to ash.

I don’t have a choice. According to the news, I’m going to wake up underwater. If I want to tell the world about orange bagel goo, it’s now or November.

Nothing warms my heart more than…a lot of things, apparently. I start off too many paragraphs with some spin on that phrase. It’s time to mix things up.

I was most approving of the thing I spotted in Target’s grocery section, earlier this evening. It was a limited edition Kraft item, and it put an abrupt end to our planet’s four billion year Halloween cream cheese drought. If there was ever a time to know how to spell hallelujah. Ah, it’s in the spellchecker. Good.

Get a load of new PUMPKIN SPICE Philadelphia Cream Cheese, in a tub adorned with a pumpkin and three cinnamon sticks. For reasons known only to Kraft, they used an obviously phony pumpkin for their model. I don’t think the cinnamon sticks were real, either, because look at that one on the bottom. Real cinnamon sticks only unfurl like that like, 1 out of every 50,000 times. I doubt Kraft was that lucky.

I love this sudden boom with foods having “limited edition” runs. I mean, I get it, and it’s true, but it still sounds like permission to treat perishable food like collectibles. Thank God they didn’t go with the more casual “for a limited time only,” or I might feel weird about throwing four tubs of cream cheese into the back of my closet, where they’ll sit next to commemorative coins, baseball cards and other things that are similarly guaranteed to quadruple in value. Read More…

Roseanne’s TUNNEL OF TERROR.

Some of you may skip this review out of sheer hatred of All Things Roseanne, but if you’re into Halloween, avoiding Roseanne a huge mistake. Few have done Halloween better than her.

I started watching the TV series mainly out of necessity. Growing up, remember how the last cartoon would air at 4:30 on weekdays, followed by a slew of regurgitated sitcoms beginning at 5? Well, for a while, Roseanne got the entire 5-6 PM block. I’m guessing this would’ve been in 1991? I don’t know, I’ve done a lot of drugs.

Those reruns made me a fan, and soon enough, I started watching the first-run episodes on Tuesday nights, or whenever the hell they were on. Even today, my DVR contains more of that show than anything else.

The first few seasons were as popular with critics as they were with fans, but even when the show started going off the rails (the emergence of “Fred” kind of signaled the Great Turn for the Worse), I still loved it. Hell, I can even gut through the final season, even if it was terrible, and even if it turned Dan Conner from one of the best-ever TV dads into the one of the worst. The final episode still makes me want to kill everyone responsible for it, but aside from that, there isn’t an episode I won’t watch.

Whether you like the show or not, there’s no denying that it produced some of the best “holiday special” episodes ever. This was especially true for Roseanne’s Halloween episodes, which became an annual thing, and with very few exceptions, were the biggest Halloween brouhahas seen on any prime time sitcom.

Today we remember the first of them — and if going by popular vote, the best of them. From the second season, the episode’s official title is Boo. For purposes of this review, I’ll use a title that’s more representative of its unforgettable plot: Roseanne’s Tunnel of Terror.

It’s no understatement to say that this episode helped shape my love of Halloween, and taught me that it could be so much more than I thought. Read More…

Sucking Wind.

Boy, I have been sucking wind for the last week or so.

Maybe you haven’t noticed. Maybe I should just shut up. These website games are as much smoke and mirrors as they are steak and potatoes. Perception is reality. If I was smart, I’d act like all was hunky-dory and lie about the site achieving record numbers. You gain momentum when people think you’re on an upswing. When you’re on a downswing, even the rats dive off.

But I don’t think I can get away with that, because I am gifted with that terrible ability to say absolutely nothing and still be wildly transparent. Even when I’m just reviewing Halloween Facebook apps, if there’s blood in the water, you can probably smell it.

It’s not like I think the last few articles have been actively bad, but my whole deal is that I make mountains out of molehills. For that to work, the passion and excitement needs to be sincere. There are a billion sites that treat the trivial like the end-all be-all, but I think it’s painfully obvious when a writer really didn’t believe what he or she had written. There’s a fine line between exaggeration and fabrication, and if you’re not peddling fiction, you need to be careful about crossing it.

Maybe there was something to my idea of just keeping quiet about this. Looking back at the Countdown, this has only been a recent issue, and it’s not like, painfully obvious. The “problem” is much bigger in my head than on paper, or, you know, screen.

But I still feel like confessing. Sometimes, it’s better to confess things when your back isn’t against the wall. Read More…