Dinosaur Dracula!

Dino Drac’s Advent Calendar: 12/3/12.

Dino Drac isn’t thrilled with today’s device and map. For one thing, he has no idea what the map represents. It says nothing on it, and seems to only detail a thirty foot area consisting of a bridge and a bonfire. What is he supposed to do with a map like this?

The device is even more troubling. I call it a “device” because God only knows what task it’s intended to perform. Dino Drac enjoys pushing the illuminated buttons, but it’d be way more rewarding if they caused any perceptible action. I suppose some garage door fifty miles away could be crashing up and down, but it’s a reach.

42″ Dinosaur Dracula, Christmas Edition.

Thank you, Home Depot. Thank you for selling an animated holiday Tyrannosaur.

One devil medallion and a cut-up t-shirt later, and I’m now the proud owner of a 42” Dinosaur Dracula, Christmas edition.

Life is weird, and good.

Mad, hysterical love to the few of you who tipped me off. And to the guy at Home Depot who so generously offered to climb up a giant orange ladder so I could buy the store display version. (They were otherwise sold out.) Best $65 bucks I ever spent.

The M.U.S.C.L.E. Hard Knockin’ Rockin’ Ring!

It was Christmas Day, 1986. Maybe ’87. Let’s say ’87.

Thank God for my friend across the street. As mentioned before, my family celebrates on Christmas Eve and celebrates it hard. Christmas Day was never much of anything in our house, and in some ways, it was actually depressing. The “post-holiday blues” are familiar to many, but it hits so much harder when you feel it on Christmas morning.

But my best friend’s family was different. They did nothing on the Eve, and everything on the Day. Growing up, I spent many of my Christmases at his house, to the point where his aunts and uncles felt like my aunts and uncles.

The way his family celebrated was so foreign to me. For dessert, there’d always be these enormous plates of salted green apple slices. (They were better than they sound.) The atmosphere was so much quieter than my own family’s party, in part because there were less people, but also because nobody at his house was Italian.

A key part of these visits was to compare Christmas presents with my buddy. Honestly, I was there to brag. It’s not like he didn’t get good stuff, but his parents were much more practical. He played sports, so he got tons of sports equipment. Great in the long run, but not so great for showy boasts. He also wasn’t at all greedy or materialistic, even at a young age. If he even once made a Christmas list, I’d be surprised.

Not that it was a competition, but I’d grown accustomed to besting him on the fronts that mattered most to me: Toys and video games. He didn’t care enough about those things to have a lot of them, and I sure didn’t mind my role as “boy with the better toys.”

Well, in 1987, the fucker finally beat me… Read More…

Dino Drac’s Advent Calendar: 12/2/12.

Though the hat and binoculars were clearly meant for yesterday’s Safari Man, Dino Drac is quick to appropriate them. This could mean that Safari Man has already become lunch, but — and far more likely — Dino Drac just likes hats.

Turns out that the binoculars are only for show. They don’t actually enable Dino Drac to see faraway things more clearly. This irritates him to no end. Would prop binoculars really cost that much less than a working pair? There comes a point where making prop versions of things just seems excessive.

Luckily, that hat makes up for the binoculars. Dino Drac fancies himself a modern day Indy, but I get more of a Bogart vibe. A Safari Man at the Advent Calendar beats a roast beef at the Ritz.

Hot Chocolate Pop-Tarts.

Along with one or two returning holiday flavors, Kellogg’s has blessed us with all-new Frosted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate Pop-Tarts, thereby increasing their streak of Pop-Tarts flavors with extremely long names to an impressive 267.

Okay, so they’re not as “showy” as Kellogg’s previous offerings, like Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts or Gingerbread Pop-Tarts. They’re not as weird-in-a-good way, nor colorful, nor do they come with any bizarre recipes on the side panel. All true, but these Pop-Tarts have it where it counts:

They taste like hot chocolate.

I took that photo of them in their “plain” state, but you kinda do need to toast them. Even if you prefer your Pop-Tarts with no caloric upgrades, the heat has a way of bringing out their scent. Believe me, this is a scent you WANT brought out.

Like, picture the most classic cup of hot chocolate you can imagine. Now picture it five feet tall. Whatever you think that would smell like is pretty close to how these smell. If it’s possible to get high from the aroma of blistery Pop-Tarts, brother, I am so there.

While the pastry and its frosting cover the “chocolate” base, a core of bright goo handles the “marshmallows.” It’s like NASA figured out how to freeze-dry hot chocolate, only not really at all like that.

I don’t keep score of these things, but I’ll go out on a limb and proclaim that there’s never been a tastier Pop-Tart. I’ll also proclaim that no other Pop-Tart has ever looked so much like an army of mites swarming over Mars.

The Rule of Triples means I get one more proclamation, but I’ll save that for when it’ll really count.

Dino Drac’s Advent Calendar: 12/1/12.

The last thing I ever thought I’d tackle again is a Playmobil Advent Calendar, and in terms of a weird, winding story with an always-growing cast of characters, no, I won’t. In fact, I’ve intentionally shied away from even mentioning the AC, because while some folks liked that saga, it just isn’t something I’m interested in continuing on Dino Drac.

But, good God. LOOK AT THE THEME FOR THIS YEAR’S.

Your eyes don’t deceive you. It’s a DINOSAUR EXPEDITION Playmobil Advent Calendar. A Dinosaur Expedition Playmobil Advent Calendar, tossed in the line of sight of a Playmobil connoisseur who now runs a site NAMED AFTER A DINOSAUR.

Okay, so technically, it’s a 2011 model. But this is the first time I’m seeing it.

It had to be a sign. Of course I had to cover this. The difference is, I’ll be doing it in a very small way. No massive adventure. No connection to the previous story or characters. This has nothing to do with the past, and everything to do with DINOSAURS.

It works out perfectly, too. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that my December work schedule is awful. I mean, really awful. Dino Drac’s 1st Christmas season is going to be presented in bite-sized morsels, and I’ll need all the bite-sized morsels I can find.

Thus, without further ado, here’s the short-and-sweet first entry of Dinosaur Dracula’s 1st (and perhaps only) Advent Calendar.

It’s December 1st, and Playmobil didn’t skimp on the inaugural gift. He’s a Safari Man, and Dino Drac (the monster, not the site) couldn’t be happier about it.

Now he just has to decide if Safari Man will be “friend” or “food.”

More likely, Safari Man will be “friend, THEN food.” Dino Drac will enjoy playing tag with Safari Man for a few days, and then, when that gets boring, he’ll bite through his stomach and eat him guts-first. It’s what dinosaurs do, even when they’re part vampires.

If you count the invisible pair on his pants, Safari Man has eight pockets. His hair looks like the lovechild of a bat and a Pac-Man ghost. Without discernible fingers, his hands appear more like flippers.

“So! You’re a mutant!” In light of this discovery, Dino Drac grew hesitant to eat him. Surely some traveling sideshow would pay a pretty penny for a man with flippers. Especially after they heard Dino Drac’s sales pitch.

“Not only is he a mutant, but he has eight pockets. All this can be yours for three thousand dollars and a vial of camel’s blood. I’ll knock off five hundred if you use real camel’s blood and don’t try to trick me with like, pig’s blood. Don’t think I won’t know the difference.”

What will tomorrow bring?