Dinosaur Dracula!

The Best Vending Machine Ever.

If you live in anything resembling suburbia, maybe you’ve seen an Allstar vending machine. They’re stuffed with trading cards of all types, and at least around here, there’s one near the exit of every grocery store.

I’m going to take the long way to get there, but here’s a quick summary of this article: DO NOT IGNORE THESE MACHINES.

If you’ve only afforded them a passing glance, you may have gotten the wrong impression. Sports card packs are the predominant choices, but there’s much more to Allstar machines than that. Movie, TV and toon cards are in there too, along with non-card items that are unbelievably endearingly in their screwiness.

Best of all, the assortments in these machines are anything but new. You’ll easily find packs of cards from twenty or even thirty years ago. The machines exist more as portable collectible shops, inspiring us to relive our pasts through the quarters in our pockets. Read More…

Old Internet Junk!

I first went online in 1995, back when you paid by the hour for an extremely slow connection. At the time, my concept of the internet only went as far as what America Online would show me. Actual websites existed, of course, but between the slow speed and my unfamiliarity, I mostly stuck with chat rooms, forging fast friendships with total strangers that were completely forgotten ten minutes later.

Even after just a few years, a lot had changed, but it was still no comparison to what we have today. Here’s an actual screenshot of my computer screen from September 16th, 2000:

Still on AOL. Still on dial-up. Thirty programs always running simultaneously. Goddamned RealPlayer.

Everything was plodding and everything was made of glass, but we didn’t take it that way. Hell, I must’ve been having fun, since I somehow spent more time on the internet back then than I do now. (Well, duh. It took ten times as long to do anything.)

Below are five things I enjoyed from my earliest days online, in no particular order. Read More…

I’m best friends with Pee-wee Herman.

As some of you know, I ordered WrestleMania last night. The PPV price was steep, but I just couldn’t let myself miss Undertaker vs. Punk. It was a good event overall, but the show definitely peaked with that match.

I seized the opportunity to do some live tweeting, to the grand annoyance of all but maybe ten of the people who follow me. Fifty tweets later, and I had less followers than the day prior. Oh well. I thought my line about Roman Reigns looking like the Daenerys’s dead husband was spot-on.

I wasn’t the only one saying too much about wrestling through social media. No less than Pee-wee Herman is a big WWE fan, and in fact, he was at WrestleMania last night. I don’t know if Pee-wee was there in an official capacity or just as a fan, but he was all over Facebook and Twitter, yakking about Brock Lesnar.

Somewhere in the middle of that, he posted this on Facebook:

Mason, an eagle-eyed reader, recognized the photo from one of my X-E articles. The one about the stuff in my freezer.

Yes, that’s MY picture of a WWE Ice Cream Bar and Choco Taco. Pee-wee assuredly found it on Google and never actually visited my old site, but this is still very awesome.

On the other hand, everyone on his Facebook page is making fun of my dirty tiled tabletop. That shit hurts.

It’s a pretty tenuous link, but I’m now connected to Pee-wee Herman. Just a tiny little bit. When I repeat this story in the future, I’ll exaggerate like hell. By next year, I’ll be claiming that we watched WrestleMania together at Hooters. Read More…

You’re going to the movies!

Tonight, you’re going to the movies! Whether you want to or not!

As if by some unseen force, you are escorted to Dinosaur Dracula’s Superstar Theater.

While waiting for your turn at the ticket counter, you realize that this is no ordinary theater. Mingling with your fellow humans are all sorts of monsters and dinosaurs!

Apprehensive as you may be, there is no denying the hand fate has dealt you. You purchase your ticket and head inside… Read More…

Comic Book Friday!

Today mysteriously turned into Comic Book Friday!

I was running an errand in an unusual area, and remembered that this unusual area was also home to my city’s longest operating comic book shop – a place that’s been around for at least twenty years.

I decided to drop by. Maybe they’d still have Mortal Kombat rigged up in the back.

It’d changed a lot since my last visit, which, if I have it right, was more than ten years ago. The store seemed smaller and wasn’t as packed to the brim as it used to be, but I still felt that shockwave of nostalgia as I walked through the door.

As a kid, this was one of my many meccas. It’s where I used to buy back issues of Dazzler for fifty cents a pop, just to get at those glorious old classified ads. It’s where I spent at least ten afternoons buying pack after pack of Marvel Universe trading cards, praying for that elusive Silver Surfer hologram. Above all else, it’s the store that introduced me to The Infinity Gauntlet. Read More…