Dinosaur Dracula!

Goodfellas / Staten Island Connection.

Goodfellas is one of my favorite movies, duh. I can’t imagine that I’ve seen it anything less than a hundred times.

Yesterday was one of those days when the only thing that seemed right with the world was my couch, so that’s where I lived, searching for shows and movies that would require absolutely none of my brainpower. Goodfellas got the nod.

Near the end of the film, I noticed something. I already knew that parts of the movie were filmed on Staten Island, but assumed that they were the run-of-the-mill “suburban home exteriors” that people so often come here to shoot.  Somehow, it wasn’t until this latest viewing – the last of over a hundred – that I noticed a clear-as-day shot of the Pergament Mall on Richmond Avenue.

It’s in the scene that leads up to Henry Hill’s arrest. You know, when the helicopter is trailing him all over the place? He and Karen make a quick stop to use a payphone, and holy shit, they’re at the same goddamned strip mall that I go to at least once a week. The same strip mall that I’ve been to more than a thousand times over the years. (To give you an idea of just how often, any past article that referenced “my local Toys ‘R’ Us” was referring to the one in this strip mall. I go there a LOT.)

Here’s a screencap from the scene in question, along with a comparison shot taken this afternoon. Yes, I really went all-out for this one:

Goodfellas was filmed in 1989 and came out a year later. Incredibly, even after more than two decades, that portion of the strip mall hasn’t changed much. Some of the same stores still stand in the same places!

I know this won’t seem like a big deal to a lot of you, but I’ve lived on Staten Island all of my life. As any Islander will tell you, this place is always changing. Longtime residents tend to cling to the tenured establishments, even if they’ve never had a reason to go inside of them. We fear change and we like old wallpaper, I guess.

Course, not every store remained the same, and seeing some of my fallen favorites brought on a serious rush of nostalgia… Read More…

BFCDAW #14: Gumix the Gum Monster.

10:30 AM: I’m at work. So of course I’m mapping out ways to turn gum into a hideous monster.

That’s the formula, as I see it.

I will create Gumix as soon as I get home. Check Dino Drac later tonight, because this is going to be HOT.

Read More…

Vlog: Christmas Morning, 2012.

Christmas Eve was the usual unbridled insanity, but for once, we didn’t need to be anywhere on Christmas Day. I’m going to spend the afternoon taped to the couch, subsisting on cold leftovers and endless airings of A Christmas Story. Just the way it ought to be.

I hope you’re having a good one, filled with whatever you wanted it to be filled with.

Here’s a video examining some of the more interesting presents I received this year, from Oreo cookies to skull-shaped liquor decanters:

If I sound groggy, it’s because I am. Merry Xmas!

Dino Drac’s Advent Calendar: 12/24/12.

It’s Christmas Eve!

…and the final gift is a DOOZY.

Behold, Dino Drac’s BABY DINOSAUR, which hatched from a giant grey egg and immediately started doing cute things. Impossibly cute things, like clapping. God, we LOVE this baby dinosaur. Read More…

The Christmas Flamingo Cometh.

I have to imagine that this will be my last big purchase of the Christmas season. I’m going out with a pink bang:

It’s a light-up flamingo in a Santa hat, and it pairs oh so nicely with that stupid dinosaur. This is its story, in around five minutes:

The people behind this flamingo apparently decided that it needed to be “frozen,” so they glued tiny silica boulders all over it. But they didn’t glue them on too well, and you can’t touch this thing without having it spit silica everywhere. I’ve decided to like this. A+ on the festive flamingo.

PS: Follow Dino Drac on Facebook. For no good reason, really.

Ancient Christmas Appetizers!

This morning, I dived deep into my collection of ancient recipe books, looking for the kind of snack ideas that no book published after 1975 would dare include.

After choosing my “subjects,” it was time to gather the ingredients. Good God, I spent a fortune. I’m not sure what happened, since I specifically chose recipes that seemed not only easy, but cheap.

Oh well. Christmas only comes once a year, and it’s not like I ever pay attention to these old recipe books when it’s not Christmastime. If I was gonna blow a hundred bucks on cream cheese and bootleg caviar, I picked the right day.

Below are four of my creations, based on recipes from Better Homes & Gardens’ 1963 classic, Snacks and Refreshments. May they bring you good tidings, and inspire you to do wacky things with black olives. Read More…