Purple Stuff Podcast: Christmas Songs III

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It’s that special time of the year again! The time of year where we reminisce about how hysterical it was when the shitter was full,  when people get together and wear intentionally lame sweaters, and get pretty tanked up and make poor decisions. Either way, it’s usually a blast. But what’s a holiday season without a badass soundtrack to play in the background? The new episode of the Purple Stuff Podcast continues our tradition of offering up an eclectic selection of Christmas tunes for you.

It’s our 3rd installment of holiday tunes and it’s pretty whacked out. Matt from Dinosaur Dracula and I present more favorites from our respective playlists. To me, there’s nothing better than chilling by the Christmas tree listening to the holiday classics that you only hear during this time of year. As usual, we don’t always agree on all of these tracks, but either way, they all have their place. You’ll hear everything from a Smurfs song to a snazzy. ’60s version of “Sleigh Ride.”

Hopefully we can provide you with some new ideas to add to your annual holiday celebration…or just a bunch of songs to avoid at all costs, whatever works for you! You can subscribe to The Purple Stuff Podcast on iTunes and basically anywhere else you can get podcasts. If you want to support the show and our websites, subscribe, spread the word, or leave a review on iTunes! Thanks for reading and listening!

Purple Stuff Podcast Minisode #3 – Dollar Store Junk!

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Dino Drac and I are back for another Halloween minisode! These have been a lot of fun so we bring you another installment of our aural lust for Halloween. In this episode we check out Dollar General and my old decrepit K-Mart. What we bring home may not exactly be considered “treasure” to most, but it brought us some more early signs of the season. We hope you enjoy this one! You can check it out on iTunes and Stitcher and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode! Thanks for listening and reading!

The Purple Stuff Halloween Minisode!

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The Purple Stuff is ushering in the Halloween season in a very cool way. We’re obviously excited, and to celebrate the greatest season of the year, we’ll be releasing “minisodes” which are shorter episodes concentrating on aspects of the season that we haven’t delved into yet. Our first episode is available now. We tell the now legendary tale of what was to be a simple trip to find early Halloween stuff. We’ll certainly be doing these more often so be on the lookout! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Podbean, and basically wherever else you can find podcasts!

PURPLE STUFF PODCAST EP. 42: COOL CARS FROM POP CULTURE!

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Have you ever fantasized about having a real badass car? I know I have. Although it wouldn’t be much fun sitting in the never ending New Jersey traffic. That’s where the Purple Stuff Podcast comes in. In our new episode, Matt and I count down some of the coolest cars in pop culture!

It may sound like an offbeat theme for us, but it’s totally not a stretch. Think about it, we all know what kind of wheels we’d like to be whizzing around town in. Realistically, we can’t really drive around in a car that looks like a dinosaur-corvette hybrid, or a 4×4 with animal paw wheels. Many people require something more practical. Our imaginations ran wild here, fully ignoring gas saving techniques, speed limits, and pedestrian safety.

It’s another nostalgia packed episode. You’ll hear about our memories of cars from our youth, and my affinity for the girlfriend of a mysterious ghost driver with a sleek indestructible car. Fun times. Buckle up, this is going to be a crazy ride! Thanks for listening!

*A PSA: The Halloween Season is almost upon us!

PURPLE STUFF PODCAST EPISODE 41: SHARKSTRAVAGANZA!

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It’s officially summertime, so let’s make the best of it. For those of us yearning for those gloomy Autumn days spent watching horror movies and crisp moonlit nights waiting on line for a really bad haunted hayride, we do have minimal opportunities to capitalize on certain scares that summer actually provides. One of the most terrifying aspects of the summer is the possibility of a shark attack if you happen to go in the ocean. I easily dodge that risk by skipping the middleman and just watch JAWS and call it a day.

Aside from the most famous onscreen appearance of a shark in history, there’s so many more instances of Sharks in pop culture. On the latest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast, Matt and I bring up all of that whacked out shark stuff! Our mutual fondness for sharks lead us to talk about their pop culture counterparts for a whole hour. As always, we’ve got some outstanding nostalgic choices as well as a few modern ones! It will fill the void as we approach the best time of the year.

We’ve been away for a bit, but we’re excited to be back! If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do so through iTunes, Stitcher, and Podbean. Please leave us some stars and tell your like-minded friends that you listen to a podcast that they will dig! We can’t thank you enough for all the amazing feedback you’ve given us…it’s truly appreciated.

*You’ll definitely be familiar with the majority of our selections , but feel free to leave us some of your shark picks in the comments that didn’t get mentioned on the show! I’m sure I’ll get threats for not mentioning King Shark, but there’s always a sequel.

Finding My Center in Mall Meanderings and Air Surfing

Remember that scene in Batman Returns when Batman and The Penguin both tell each other that “Things change?” It’s simple dialogue, but I always loved it because it applies to so many aspects of life. Yes, I quote Batman movies like they’re Shakespeare. To Bat or not to Bat, that’s never a question because he’s universally appropriate.

Recently I went to a comic show at Great Adventure. I had heard that the crew who produces the Garden State Comic Fest touted comics, artists, toys, cosplayers and more at their first ever theme park comic-fest. They already had me at roller coasters, but had me speeding down the Turnpike with “oh, and by the way, did we mention that we’ve got a comic show?” That’s quite enough deal sweetening, you don’t even have to twist my arm.

As I’ve mentioned here pretty often, Great Adventure is one of my most favorite and nostalgic places to be in the entire state. I’ve been a season pass holder since as long as I can remember and I simply enjoy the hell out of being there. Going for a mini comic con was a double-whammy.

After waiting on the long security line, I headed straight for the comic show. I didn’t want to sell it short, but hell, I wanted to get on some rides! The comic show took up only a few small tents near the Joker ride. I noticed John Wesley Shipp, TV’s Flash from the ‘90s, was signing autographs and taking pics with fans. Good for him enjoying his CW resurgence. That’s bucket list shit right there: Personal appearance at one of the world’s largest theme parks (conveniently located in Jackson Township next to Dracula’s Domain!)

Considering the comic cons I’ve been to, this was low-key in comparison. Although the Flash was there to amp it up, to casual theme park goers this was probably a really cool event to unexpectedly happen upon. I didn’t spend any money at the comic show although literally seconds after I left the tent, something caught my eye.

I made a purchase at the concession stand and shockingly, it wasn’t a Churro. There was a sign advertising this awesome Batman figural popcorn bucket. Yes folks, I bought a Batman popcorn bucket that I will most likely never put popcorn in, let alone anything else for that matter, but this is the kind of junk that I live for. It came with a separate bag of popcorn which I gave to my friend Bob to snack on as he was running his Glowmania table at the comic show. This is the kind of thing that’s exclusive to Six Flags so I plunked down my money.

Although the comic fest didn’t blow me away, this GA trip came at a good time. When real life stuff happens, it’s a perfect place to escape to. Most people wouldn’t consider this paradise. There’s no beach, but they do have Hurricane Harbor. There’s often long lines and massive amounts of people aimlessly wandering with no f’n clue where they’re going. But the coasters on the other hand, the roller coasters are therapy for me. I really mean that. Some people like to talk to a therapist, I prefer to work out any stress or worries by riding thrilling high speed loops and corkscrews. I don’t surf, but I do from a certain point of view, I sit in a coaster car and surf through the air. There’s something special about slicing through the air with your arms up and floating in your seat, not expending any energy whatsoever. Maybe it’s the lazy man’s surfing, I don’t know. One thing is for sure, it puts things in perspective.

All of life’s speed bumps and road blocks seem minuscule when you willfully strap yourself into the craziest rides in the entire state. You’re volunteering to be whipped around and thrown upside down in furious fashion. When the ride is over, the brakes are abruptly applied just as if you’re driving fast and you halt for a red light that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. In most cases, this is a cue to vomit your brains out, and some people do. In fact, as an example, just as I was about to hop into my seat on Nitro, the ride had to stop and be hosed down because someone lost their lunch. Talk about clearing their mind, they could start with a clean slate for the rest of the day. Personally, these rides don’t effect me like that, they actually bring me calmness. After putting my body and brain through over a minute of complete and utter chaos, the momentary serenity restores my balance.

Aside from the therapeutic power of thrill rides, I was also unwittingly jettisoned back in time. I wish I could say I hitched a ride on a DeLorean, but this was more of a memory trigger.

One of the grabbers for me at Great Adventure was always their licensing of DC Comics characters. For me, The Justice League/Super Friends were never a passing fancy. As a baby, I had DC characters in my crib. There were times throughout the years that I feared Six Flags would distance themselves from DC altogether. Thankfully, with the superhero craze, it’s quite the opposite nowadays. The Justice League characters and their respective rogues gallery appear all over the park. For instance, Batman, The Joker, Harley Quinn, Green Lantern, Bizarro, and Superman, all have their own rides. Some of the characters even show up in costume to take photos with park goers. Shit, even the Six Flags fast pass is referred to as The Flash Pass, yet another reason why this is one of my happy places.

Six Flags’ affiliation with Warner Brothers also boasts the liberal use of the Looney Tunes characters as well. This isn’t marketing 101, but stick with me, I’m actually leading up to something here.

I’ve long felt that the shops at Great Adventure are the closest thing we’ll ever get to a modern day Warner Brothers Store. The WB Store in the mall was always on my short list of places to stop at when I was a mallrat. And yes, well before it was a movie, I was an actual mallrat. My friend E and I used to basically live at the mall every weekend for a few years in high school before I started working at the local movie theater.

I don’t regret any of those wasted days at the mall. We’d get there at noon on Saturday and leave at 5. We’d sit on the benches by the fountains and trade Marvel cards that we bought. Afterward, we’d set up shop in the back of Burger King and inevitably always ran into a handful of people we knew. E would get free food because the girl that worked there had a thing for him, even though he was hung up on someone else. After Whoppers and Dr. Pepper mixed with 7 other sodas, we would literally sit there and bullshit for an hour. Miraculously, we didn’t have cell phones to pick up and look at every 2 seconds either.

After leaving Suncoast or The Game Room, we’d simultaneously launch into the geekiest disagreements and the deepest conversations about Star Wars at a time when it was super uncool. It was the dark times – way before the prequels. We were completely focused on debating details of Yoda’s origins and what brand of salsa pairs most perfectly with A New Hope for our Intergalactic Nacho extravaganza later.

I could literally write 6 pages solely about all the nothing that we did during those days. My Dad and Uncle used to tell me the craziest stories about the over the top hijinks they would get themselves into as teenagers. In comparison, me buying the ultra cool, brand new Wizard magazine and a cherry ICEE was about as extreme as things got during that period of time. We once spent 2 hours in the aisles of B. Dalton while E read Jack Kerouac and I read an Elvira young adult novel. Calling back to Batman Returns, do things really change all that much? Maybe just the backdrop. For a fleeting moment, I was in a store that reminded me of those times in the mall, and the memories rushed back into my mind.

We’d stay up late in the summer, walk around the neighborhood with our friends, make multiple stops at 7-11 for snacks, play SNES, Nightmare or HeroQuest, watch horror movies and then fall asleep at whosever house we were at. It was unbeatable. As an adult, I can live pretty much that exact same life, but it winds up paling in comparison because it’s missing some key elements. Sorta like when Gary and Wyatt forgot to hook up the doll in Weird Science.

In this scenario, one of the key elements missing is the actual mall. The mall I described earlier that was basically our headquarters for a long time has changed, and not for the better. Amongst stores like Heroes World, Suncoast Motion Picture Company, The Game Room, Sam Goody, and B. Dalton, was the Warner Brothers Store. The WB Store was a mainstay for us. There was NEVER a time we didn’t stop in to lust after their DC Comics knick-knacks on display. I still own a large cross-section of inventory from that store and I’m happy I do. So much of the merch they sold was exclusive to WB Stores. Thinking back, I always bought their large sized action figures that you couldn’t find anywhere else. Cut to present day, I still buy giant sized action figures of Batman called Big-Figs. Things do not change.

E and I would hover around in awe of their commemorative animation cels that we couldn’t afford, but pretended we could anyway. One time the older, professionally dressed salesperson got into a conversation with us about which pieces we were interested in and what our price range was. We had to slink away after swearing that we were just browsing before they roped us into a $350 dollar Road Runner animation cel.

The WB Store was also good for some exclusive t-shirts, plush toys, books, mugs, and statues…yeah statues! I type this sitting a foot away from a 24″ silver age Batman statue that I only dreamed of owning back when we thought it must have merely been a larger than life store decoration. It never seemed like it was actually for sale, and even if it was, it never sold because it was probably way too expensive. Years later, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I own it, an actual piece of the Warner Brothers store. Oh, and an enormous Gossamer statue too!

As I eased back into the present day, I was standing in a shop in Great Adventure. It wasn’t a shocking revelation to call it virtually the modern day version of the old WB Store. I’ve mentioned this here on the site before, but my last few visits here have been so nostalgic that I almost felt like they should just call it what it is: The WB Store at Six Flags Great Adventure.

When you first walk into the park, two or three stores are connected and basically make one huge mega store. This is very similar to how shops are linked together in Disney World. In this case, you walk through the Looney Tunes section and then the DC Comics section. I stop into these stores every time I go to the park, but this time I literally spent 45 minutes because there was so much new crap to look at. As I browsed around, much like the WB Store before it, it’s safe to say more than half of all the merch was exclusive to Six Flags and Great Adventure specifically.

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned that the Hall of Justice shop was the pinnacle of stores in the entire park, and for DC Comics fans, it truly IS. Unfortunately, there’s been a bit of a misstep. Things are changing. The shop has lost so much of it’s personality since they decided to change its name to the…Gotham City Gift Shop? Are you f*cking serious bro? WTF! The name change obviously capitalizes on its proximity in the park to Batman: the Ride and The Dark Knight Coaster, but with the build up to the Justice League movie looming, the Hall of Justice is the most appropriate name for the shop, no question. On top of that, the OG storefront was faintly designed in the spirit of the actual Hall of Justice in the comics. Six Flags can try to justify the change in various ways, but there’s no better time in the history of Great Adventure to have a shop inspired by the headquarters of DC’s iconic Superhero Team. Now dropping a Roman Reigns quote on you: “Believe that!”

I picked up a Green Lantern hat on sale for 9 bucks. Sexy Armpit color scheme. Also added to the cart, the exclusive Batmobile print.

Just as a brief downpour began, I hopped in my car and headed for the Turnpike. On the way home I stopped in at Wawa. I rarely get their fancy pre-made iced drinks, but not because they aren’t delicious, more because they are filled with so much sugar. I felt pretty good about things at that moment. As I flipped through the touch screen options, I came across an iced mint creme drink. I know mint isn’t a flavor that everyone digs, but it’s probably my favorite flavor of ice cream or iced beverages. I was pleased with my decision and I loved it. I inhaled it about 2 minutes after buying it. It was refreshing and a cool way to cap off the trip. Treat Yo’ self!

On a trip to Great Adventure I would’ve never expected to get a rush of fond memories about the Warner Brothers store and summer days in the mall. Did I use this post to reminisce? Sure I did, but it was all legit. The ironic part is that I don’t even want to step foot into a mall nowadays, so in that respect, things have absolutely changed.

Since so many malls have lost their luster over the years, If you’re even remotely in the vicinity of Great Adventure this summer, I recommend escaping there for some thrills. It’s a blast, a diversion, and a therapy session all in one. Plus, they have the closest thing we may ever get to another Warner Brothers Store, and that’s one hell of an endorsement if you ask me.

PURPLE STUFF PODCAST EP.37: SNOW DAYS!

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Let us help you banish the winter blues away with a NEW episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast!

In the latest installment, Matt and I get a snow day. As kids, snow days would entail getting bundled up, playing in the snow, throwing snowballs, making snow angels, building forts and coming in freezing with wet socks. Then after all that nonsense, it was time for hot chocolate and movies or cartoons. Those were the best kinds of days. Then you’d spend the rest of the night with your fingers crossed that a call would come in that you didn’t have school the next day. Hearing that news was the ultimate victory because that meant you could stay up late and plan an unexpectedly awesome evening for yourself. The world was your oyster.

Adult snow days aren’t as fun. Shoveling, risking car accidents, and having to work from home are just some of the pitfalls of an adult snow day. But it doesn’t have to go down like that!

Join us for the Purple Stuff Episode 37 where we recall our snowy memories. It’s a wintry mix incorporating anecdotes, songs, and toys. Hope you enjoy it and if you feel like leaving some comments about your own snowy memories or favorite wintry things that would be awesome.

Thanks for reading and listening!

 

Purple Stuff Podcast Episode 26: Not Your Average Scares!

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We’ve turned the corner folks. Now that we’re halfway to HALLOWEEN, it’s time to start teasing ourselves with little tastes of that sweet, sweet candy corn. On the new episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast, we do something that’s, well…halfway Halloweeny! Let me tell you more.

An outright Imperial March toward Halloween ain’t gonna happen for a few more months, but there’s no reason we can’t temporarily bask in the spooks and chills of Halloween in the off season. You know you want it.

With all the incredible stuff that is getting released, this episode pairs so well with this moment in time. Think about it. Ghostbusters is back in a big way, on toy shelves, in liquid Ecto Cooler form, marshmallow form, and in the theaters soon. And I can’t forget Mountain Dew Pitch Black which made its way back into our mouths, in not only cans and bottles, but Slurpees again! We’re in a bona fide nostalgic renaissance, and Matt and I are going to talk through it the entire time on The Purple Stuff like annoying jerks in the back of a movie theater.

The premise of this show is to spotlight things that are unexpectedly nightmarish. We’ve dubbed this episode, “Not Your Average Scares,” and it’s a full tank of nightmare fuel. Not to spoil it too much, but you’ll hear about pulse pounded phone calls, eerily loud tones, puppets, dummies, and blue people. Is that not the best sales pitch ever? Shit, I recorded this show with Matt and I want to to listen to it now!

If you’re a Halloween freak like we are, this show will give you that extra jolt that you’ll need to survive until we find ourselves on the true trail to Halloween. We hope you enjoy this one. Only 174 days to go!

*An ENORMOUS thank you to everyone who has made doing The Purple Stuff Podcast worthwhile. Many of you have been respective readers and viewers of both Matt and my exploits through the years and we really appreciate you listening and subscribing.

Purple Stuff Podcast Episode 18: Pop Culture Mascots!

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For some people, pop culture mascots are as close to us as family members. Think about it. You may have sat at your kitchen table next to a cardboard box with that Cheerios honeybee on it half the mornings of your life. You sure as hell remember watching about a thousand commercials where the Kool-Aid Man crashed through some wall and made you want to submerge yourself in that delicious beverage. Maybe you had a special place in your heart for the Hamburgular? No matter what product or food item it was, you likely have memories and attachments for some of their brand mascots.

Some of those mascot memories that you have might be buried. Matt from Dinosaur Dracula and I are here this week on the Purple Stuff Podcast to bring those memories to the surface as we discuss a select group of mascots that we fondly remember. These choices are all ones that we feel positive about, but you may recall when Matt shared his irrational fear of the Scrubbing Bubbles characters. That is a perfect example of how these brands plant little seeds in our heads. From my perspective, it’s fairly easy to get me to buy your product. As long as the mascot is female with neon colored hair or on the other end of the spectrum, something that is haunting or creepy looking, I’m way more apt to buy in to the product. Either way, they all conjure up varying opinions and anecdotes, which is definitely the case in Episode 18 of the PSP.

The mascots we bring to the table on tonight’s Purple Stuff may not be your favorites, but they are just as notable for various reasons. For instance, why bring up the Trix Rabbit when we could discuss a friendly Dinosaur made of artificial cheese? Or a cute, pink-haired spy who was “fired” for appearing in too many sexual situations in Google Image Searches? These are the ones that needed to be discussed, and we did just that! In the comments, let us know some of your favorite mascots of pop culture.

If you haven’t checked out the Purple Stuff yet, what are you waiting for? The episodes are all available via iTunes, Podbean, and Stitcher!

Purple Stuff Podcast Episode 15: Board Game Memories

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Growing up in the ’80s, board games were in a huge boom period. A game like Life or Pictionary was required to be available in your home in case any guests wanted to take part in some wacky, competitive diversions. Although Travel Boggle and Tiddly Winks are NOT mentioned in the latest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast, Matt and I do go back in time digging into our memory banks to discuss some of our own board game memories!

While I love Monopoly and Scrabble as much as the next person, I was more into games like Candy Land and Memory. I was a simple kid and anything to intricate or in-depth was an immediate turn off for me. I liked not being too committed to games that made you read intense directions comprised of IKEA-like diagrams with fonts the size of The Atom. Some games took forever to complete, while others were nonchalantly breezed through, providing just the right amount of mild, temporary entertainment. I prefer the latter.

In the episode, Matt brings up some of his favorite games, including the cult-favorite, Fireball Island. You’ll notice a pattern in Matt’s picks since most of them can double as action figure playsets! My choices weren’t nearly as cohesive with each other, aside from the fact that they all helped to uncover some deep seeded revelations for me, as suppressed animosity from a couple of games rose to the surface. It sounds way more serious than it really is, because I actually just wound up ragging on a few games that used to annoy me. Listen to the show to hear all of our selections!

Thanks for stopping by! I know you have some favorite board games from when you were a kid, so tell us some of them in the comments!