Halloween Mood Table 2014!

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For several years during my childhood, my mom would keep a medium sized artificial Christmas tree up year round. No, she didn’t leave the Christmas decorations on it the whole time, she would decorate it with whatever coincided with the season. Summertime usually had things like American flags and beach décor, and Halloween, of course, had pumpkins, ghosts, and witches, etc. As offbeat as this seemed to people who came over at the time, it was truly a conversation piece. Personally, I thought it was a lot of work because I would help her put the ornaments up. Although it didn’t last more than a few years, it was certainly a memorable way to celebrate holidays and the changing of seasons. Since we’re deep into the Halloween season, if you don’t really want an artificial Christmas tree taking up space in your living room just yet, you can create a Halloween Mood Table.

The pioneer of the Halloween Mood Table, Matt from Dinosaur Dracula, has been doing these for eons and so many of his readers follow suit each year to usher in their own personal Halloween celebrations (this year even Jorge Garcia, star of LOST, got in on the fun!) Surprisingly, up until now I only admired Matt’s Mood Table as well as photos of the tables that were sent in to him. I finally decided to get into the game with my own assemblage of spooky crap to create my own Halloween Mood Table!

There’s a few reasons why I never took part in the festivities.

Perhaps the most prominent reason why I never created a Halloween Mood table of my own was because I’ve always kept so much of my Halloween and Horror stuff displayed all year that I never had the motivation to dust it all off and relocate it to another spot. If you are drowning in knick-knacks like I am, you know what a pain this is! This year, it dawned on me that if all this stuff sits in the same spot all the time and collects dust, it’s making things stagnant! I figured, why not take a stab at finally making a Mood Table to infuse my surroundings with a shot of Halloween spirit?

First, my September and October months have always been packed with events and trips well before I ever had my first website, so this left little time and motivation to work on the mood table. Then when I started doing the Halloween Specials, that ate up much of my time in September and October as well. It dawned on me recently that if I have time to put up a Christmas tree, then why the hell can’t I make some time for a mood table? Since this year’s Halloween Special is now available for all to see, I finally had time to dedicate to making this monstrosity!

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The minute I started conjuring up this mood table, I was immediately overcome by the exact feeling that Matt described that one should get after admiring what they designed. It’s true too, because the table wasn’t even complete and I felt a surge of Halloween spirit, instead of butterflies in my stomach, I’m pretty sure they were cheap rubber bats. The fact that I haven’t done this in the past is ludicrous.

Let’s take a closer look at what I slapped together fairly haphazardly.

The table itself is a black wrought iron accent table that has to date back to the late ’60s. It was a gift to my parents after they got married and it had plant on it. It’s simple, and I’ve always loved it. It was probably because it was always there in my house, whether it had a spider plant sitting on it or a few coffee mugs, an ash tray, and some random uncles bifocals. It’s heavy, black table and it’s pretty timeless. When we moved into a smaller place, I lobbied hard to keep the table, I even said I’d keep it in my small bedroom. So, with us it came. Then when I moved out into my own place, I brought it with me. There was no doubt that it was screaming to be the official Mood Table from now on. It was fate. It travelled all these years and through all the different homes and has finally found it’s place in this world holding random Halloween related junk. I hired a table whisperer and he said the table is so happy now, it may want to keep that crap on it all year long, but mostly because it knows I probably won’t move it off until late November.

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I threw together a lot of stuff that I’ve procured recently myself or as gifts and have mentioned here on the blog along with some other items that I’ve had for a long time.

There’s an illuminated pumpkin, a few Reaction figures, the vampire Monster in My Pocket that I picked up at the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market, Halloween edition Toxic Waste candy, Halloween 3 Glow art from Bob Burke, atrocious Halloween art that I made with @DinosaurDracula and @FreddyInSpace, a mummy pooper, the Librarian Ghost from Ghostbusters, the Krispy Kreme GhostBusters pail, a couple of styrofoam headstones, Halloween Gak (thanks to Ipoisonthenachos) Frankenstein LED color changing candle, Jason goblet, a packet of Ghoul Aid, a skull, pumpkin candle, a wind up zombie, a Rockin’ Solar Buddy, Blair Witch Sticks and Stones VHS tape, Clarence, Prime Evil who was my costume inspiration last year, the Dino Drac 2014 Halloween countdown print, a Miller Lite Scary Pumpkin Coaster, Ghosts of Central New Jersey book, and one of the horns used to make Mike’s Jersey Devil getup in this year’s Halloween Special.

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Wrapped up sloppily and helping to create the ambience underneath the table are orange and purple rope lights that I was about to take back because I didn’t think I needed them this season, but it dawned on me that this is the perfect way to put them to good use. After nearly impaling myself on their sharp plastic packaging, I wrapped them around the legs of the table and plugged them into a step-on light switch for easy access. Not sure if that’s the technical UL certified name for it, but step-on light switch works just fine for me.

To take this a step further, I wanted to connect my iPod speaker dock underneath the table as well, but there were no more outlets. It was best to avoid a Darren McGavin fuse moment in A Christmas Story. I’ll save that project for the weekend!

Production Blog 4: The Halloween Special 2014 Premieres FRIDAY!

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In case you haven’t seen it around on social media, The Sexy Armpit Halloween Special hits YouTube on Friday night!

My previous production update included the colossal bummer of discovering that a full days worth of footage we shot didn’t come out. That’s the less technical way of putting it, and to keep this post from being 6 pages long, let’s leave it at that. Things are a lot more upbeat this time around and I’m psyched to announce that the Halloween special premieres on YouTube this FRIDAY night!

After having our schedule pushed out a week, I can still say that even after getting thrown off by a full week, I am planning on premiering the Halloween special a full week ahead of last years premiere date!

Aside from our schedule being thrown out of whack, I was equally as concerned that the video would surpass 30 minutes. Fortunately, it’s not 30 minutes, but it’s about as long as a TV sitcom. Now, this would all depend on the way you look at things, but some fans and friends of the site, and even I could lodge the argument that even if we did come in at 30 minutes, it would be 30 minutes of free, independent Halloween goodness that you won’t see anywhere else. Plus, it has some of our online cohorts in it as well. Most of the time I prefer 20 minutes to be the absolute maximum, but this time there’s more of an actual fleshed out storyline to get wrapped up in.

If you enjoyed our previous 2 Halloween specials, you won’t be disappointed! From a personal standpoint, I can’t yet comment on which one is my favorite until I watch the finished product on the big screen TV with friends and family to really capture the feel of it. As it stands now, last years Halloween special is my favorite, and possibly my favorite video I’ve ever made, but in only mere days I’ll find out if the 2014 installment edges it out.

For your Halloween enjoyment, I highly recommend you try to watch it on your TV, whether it be a Smart TV or if you have a PS3/4, XBox, Apple TV or Roku. I feel like Michael Cole berating you with information, but in this case, I have this feeling that your experience will be so much better than watching it on a tablet or a phone.

I thank you for reading along with the production updates, and I appreciate all of you who showed support on Twitter, IG, and Facebook! This whole thing, including my site, videos, and everything means so much more when I run into people who legitimately enjoy it. This year the special has been a lot more work and sucked up way more time than ever, but I am proud of it. It gives me the chance to present you with a little something extra during my favorite time of the year. Literally several quarts of sweat went into this video, and I also stained my face, pissed a lot of people off, burned the entire interior of my mouth including my tongue, almost had the cops called on me, and probably gained 7 lbs sitting on my ass writing and editing, but it was worth it.

A huge thanks go out to our small crew of friends (you know who you are) and loved ones who helped make this special happen. Whether you’re here with me driving all around New Jersey or you sent me a recorded part your part from across the country, I have nothing but immense appreciation for you.

I haven’t had much time to do anything except work on this film for nearly 2 months. It’s hard to imagine the amount of hours we’ve spent making this film, and to consider that I’ve spent almost triple the amount of hours editing it than we took to film it is pretty nuts. It seems totally preposterous, and even though it’s a silly YouTube video, it’s still incredible time consuming. Getting back to a normal existence will be welcome. Next year the special is going to be 4 minutes lol.

What’s next for me? Most important, I am going to enjoy the rest of October and get right back into the Halloween countdown. I’ll be reading your blogs as well. Come back soon for a few more cool posts for the countdown and at least another video, maybe two if I have enough horror and caffeine in me!

BE HERE FOR THE PREMIERE:

FRIDAY NIGHT 10.10.14
THE SEXY ARMPIT HALLOWEEN SPECIAL!

Hopped Up on Halloween: A Fright Fest Memory

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When reflecting on the Halloween season, the act of simply stepping outside and taking in a breath of fresh air could bring a flood of fall memories to rushing back into your mind.

One memory that came to my mind was the time I headed down to Great Adventure during Fright Fest when I first got my license. I was actually still on my learner’s permit (shhh, don’t tell anyone). It was probably the first trip I ever took there on my own, so I felt pretty badass. Well, I wasn’t really on my own. I took my girlfriend at the time, Beth. At least, she was the equivalent of what teenagers considered a girlfriend at the time. We went to the mall and kissed in public. We thought we were cool. Taking her to Fright Fest though – that was the shit. If you asked me at the time, going there was my ultimate date night. Let’s pretend you’re Chuck Woolery and I’m the contestant on Love Connection. Here’s how the date went.

On the way down the New Jersey Turnpike I had the windows cracked and I remember there being a nice October chill in the air. Just cool enough for a light jacket, but still mild enough not to freeze our asses off. It was the mid ’90s, (I know, I’m old – fuck off) and the only entertainment in my car back then was the radio and a cassette player. Naturally, some people had CD players, but they were lucky bastards. Dopey teenagers hopped up on young love and Mountain Dew didn’t have the means for a CD player in the car, unless they were savvy enough to hook up a DiscMan to their car stereo, an enhancement that was still another year down the road for me. The stations get a little fuzzy as we get further south, so the only thing we had to listen to aside from the drone of the LeBaron and the awkward moments of silence on the 40 minute drive down was the cassette player.

If Beth had it her way she wanted to listen to Hot 97 the whole way down. To appease her and show her that I’m open to all kinds of music, including blazing hip-hop and R&B, we listened to it until Exit 9 and then I was called upon by the Gods of Rock themselves. There was no choice in the matter. It was time for the Holy Grail of mixtapes. THE ULTIMATE KISS MIXTAPE. Sure, back then it was fun to listen to The Misfits, Alice Cooper and White Zombie during October, but there was always something just as fitting about listening to KISS during Halloween time too.

At the time, Beth had absolutely zero clue who KISS was. What was even funnier was that she had less of a clue that the title of one of their biggest songs bared her name. She didn’t care either. She really, really, really didn’t care. Every girl I seemed to like had no interest in the music that I listened to, which made my heart sink to the depth of the murky Arthur Kill. As I shoved the tape into the deck, I vividly remember the tape started playing in the middle of “Got To Choose” from Hotter Than Hell. I can hear that grungy riff and that funky bassline in my mind right now. In fact I’m going to pull it up on my iTunes right now. It’s amazing, this whole technology thing, isn’t it? Ha. You should put it on too (if you have it), to get the full effect of this story!

To a non-KISS fan not only was “Got To Choose” one of the least interesting tracks on my mix tape, but to make matters worse, side one of the cassette always cut off about three quarters into it. Just as soon as my mind is rocking out and vibing to the tune, it clicked off and the awkward silence returned. I knew she wanted Hot 97 on, but I didn’t care. I was being selfish, I felt like it was my turn to really enjoy this drive. It was a cool October night, my favorite time of the year, and we were racing down to Six Flags for one of the most fun things to do in Jersey during Halloween. I was feeling pretty awesome needless to say. I turned the cassette over and popped it back in. “Beth I hear you callin’…”

BLANK. _______. Beth was completely blank when I told her about the KISS song that was playing called, “Beth.” In the back of my mind I thought “Didn’t your father or your uncle tell you about this?” I was shocked that another person wasn’t as obsessed with KISS as I was. I had a hard time remembering that this was the mid-90s, not 1977 mind you.

As we got closer and closer to Exit 7, our conversation began to pick up and I lowered the volume to a reasonable level (except when “Parasite” came on, of course).

On a normal basis she pretty much laughed at everything I said, which gave me a little boost, but truthfully, she just laughed at everything that was remotely amusing in general. I could act like an obnoxious ass and she would just eat it up. I appreciated it because she genuinely found me funny. From there, we started trading anecdotes about our favorite rides in the park. Although both of us had been going down to Great Adventure since we were kids, we both felt the level of excitement building up. We were getting a rush before we even went on any rides.

Our time was running out. By the time we arrived, found parking, walked a mile to the ticket booth, and then bought tickets, we had about 2 hours in the park if we were lucky. And as I said, I didn’t have a CD player in my car so I wasn’t necessarily the luckiest guy in the world. This lack of time definitely weighed on my mind because when it comes to theme parks and vacations I’m like Clark Griswold, always trying to maximize the fun.

Our spirits were so uplifted, among other things, that our dumbasses wasted even more time before actually heading into the park. After the long trek from the car to the entrance, we stopped at one of the planters and parked half of our butts for a minute to take in the night…and of course make out. So dumb, so simple, soo had nothing to do with romance. This was about HALLOWEEN. I wanted the bejesus scared out of me and my endorphins were runnin’ wild. Like I said, high spirits, otherwise HOT 97 and KISS MIXTAPE wouldn’t have been lip locked to each other the whole night as if we were the only two people left on the planet.

What was the attraction with Beth? I wondered to myself as I stood staring a hole through a nearby tree shedding frail pale orange leaves. She was a natural blonde, she had a cute smile with dimples, and had big boobs. At the time, coincidentally, as stereotypical as it sounds, that was all I wanted out of life. What can I say? I was a product of the times. Baywatch was a highly rated show, OK? So, back at Six Flags, Beth and I managed to detach our mouths from each others and we walked briskly inside with a little bounce in our step.

It was dark, breezy, the trees were bare, and Fright Fest was in full effect. Zombies and ghastly characters roamed about trying to scare us. Beth genuinely got scared a few times and grabbed a hold of me, then we just got overly hysterical about it as if we just heard the funniest joke of all time delivered by the most smart mouthed comedian of all time. Despite what many people might think of the lines, the atmosphere takes center stage and it’s easy to forget the rest.

The macabre elements such as the fog, the bloody fountain, and the costumed actors jumping out at you when you least expect it, help to far outweigh any of the typical theme park complaints. Being there is the fun. In fact, Fright Fest is such a part of my Halloween celebration every year that it actually makes me get that nostalgic fuzzy feeling. I didn’t get paid for that so let me get back to my story.

Beth and I went on every ride we possibly could, stopping at any chance we could to hug, hold hands, or take part in some other cheesy public display of affection. It was the spirit of the season that was getting us all charged up. And yes, we even went on the freakin’ ferris wheel. Remember when Mikey from The Goonies said ‘It’s our time down here!” well October is our time and I’ve always felt that way. Just hearing the Misfits lyric “Bonfires Burning Bright, Pumpkin Faces in the Night, I remember Halloween,” DUH, of course I remember! I remember Halloween and all the memories come rushing back every time I walk outside and breath in the fall air or gaze into the colorful fall foliage.

Halloween moments are the most memorable ones in my life. I can’t help but think that each of those moments wouldn’t still resonate today if they took place during any other time of the year. Intertwined in the calm and colorful fall backdrop are so many memories waiting to be conjured up. Be inspired. Go outside, close your eyes, and let yourself recall all that is spooky and sentimental to you.