It’s that time of the year again! The weather starts cutting out the below zero temps and gives us that Spring feeling of being alive again. Although the Fall is by far my favorite season, Spring is second, but not because of blooming flowers…because of booming bodyslams! That’s right, its time to celebrate the WWE’s grandest event of the year, WrestleMania! Even if the last time you watched WWE was when Stone Cold Steve Austin was still the champ, you can still hop back on board at any time. Right now is the best time because WrestleMania is always a fun time. Hardcore fans dissect every event and suck the goodness out of everything, but this is one block of 4 hours each year that I dive completely into the pro-wrestling zone and enjoy it as if I were 5 years old again. It’s actually pretty refreshing, and maybe even more-so if you are not super into the WWE world. If you aren’t jaded to all of it you may even have more of a blast than many of us critical bastards! Regardless, here are 6 tips on maximizing your WrestleMania day:
Eliminate interruptions. You may be tempted to hop on Twitter or scroll through your Instagram feed during any lulls, but trust me, it can wait. You’ll have time during the Kid Rock promo so plan the social media breaks strategically. Many bands have banned cell phones at their concerts, so take a cue from The Misfits and enjoy WrestleMania as if it was the ’80s and early ’90s when you weren’t bogged down by the damn phone. I’m sure I will get texts during the show, but unless it’s an emergency, it can wait! When The Goddess is on TV, everything else gets put on hold.
2. Drink. Doesn’t have to be liquor. If you aren’t into that, get a lot of Root Beer or Mountain Dew on ice. You will need to have an excuse to run to the bathroom if a match starts to bore you out of your smoking skull. (that’s a Stone Cold reference if you didn’t catch it!)
3. Set up a comfortable viewing area, but not too comfortable! You want the pillows and blankets, but don’t accidentally promote a sleeping environment for you and your squad. This is a mistake. There’s plenty of time for that later on. If this is your first WWE event in a while, it will feel like it’s 17 hours.
4. Food! You can actually get winded just by living vicariously through watching these super athletes do what they do best so you will need nourishment. My advice is to balance out the crap with some good healthy stuff. Sounds boring, but you’ll thank me afterward! If you’re eating nothing but garbage all day and night, by the end of the event you’ll want to bust. You’ll feel like an alien is ripping out of your stomach. It’s worthwhile to cut up some fruits and veggies and drink water here and there. You have to pace yourself between all the Doritos and buffalo wings.
5. Treat the day like it’s a holiday. For me, WrestleMania has always been a holiday. To some, The Super Bowl is the big day, but for me this is monumental. Even if it winds up sucking, there’ so much excitement and enthusiasm on this day. The memories of Mania’s past come rushing back and you can enjoy them all day long if you have the WWE Network. With all great holidays, reminiscing is a major part of them and this is no different. You might wear an ugly sweater to a Christmas party, so be sure to wear your favorite Wrestler’s t-shirt or hat. I can’t forget this one, the music! We listen to Christmas carols during Christmas and spooky music during Halloween, so get your bluetooth speaker out and stream WWE music all day long, heck, all weekend long! And since you’re going to be up late and all pumped, think about taking the next day off. They won’t kill you.
6. LISTEN TO THE NEWEST EPISODE OF THE PURPLE STUFF PODCAST! The newest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast is all about inconsequential aspects of all the WrestleManias so far. Matt from Dinosaur Dracula and I have compiled 10 pieces of minutiae that we find interesting enough to talk about for an hour. Topics include, The Undertaker’s outrageous act, A whacked out Piper’s Pit, The Mistress of the Dark, and the greatest pro wrestling entrance of all time! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Podbean, and the Google Play store! Thanks for tuning in.
Now, let’s take you down to our broadcasting team of Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura…
The Purple Stuff Podcast has gone GREEN! Matt and I compiled an entire podcast of things that are green. As always, you can check it out on your usual podcast apps or by clicking the link above. Grab some expired Ecto Cooler and a handful of jellied spearmint leaves and get ready to listen to our emerald colored antics. In this episode we deliberate about everything from seasonal McDonald’s offerings to a swig of a special beverage in The Last Jedi. There’s also a dissertation on Jay’s favorite soup and Matt’s affinity for a certain type of pie. St. Patrick’s Day may mean that you get tanked on green beer, but do it while listening to The Purple Stuff Podcast! Thanks for listening!
The latest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast is available now! Get primed for the big game by listening to Matt and I bullshit about some of our favorite Super Bowl commercials ever. In addition to the junk food, the commercials are often the highlight of watching the Super Bowl. It’s the one time that I actually watch commercials and not escape to the kitchen or head to the bathroom. The multimillion dollar ads can be sentimental, funny, and downright strange, but so many of them have been pretty epic. They better be for the price that was paid to air them! In this episode we cover everything from car commercials to a couple of incredible Diet Pepsi and Coca Cola ads as well as beer bottles and cans playing their own game of football. From there we’ve got a pertinent movie trailer and a heavenly old school AV geek store…it’s all here. I’m sure you have your own set of favorites and even most hated, but no matter what, they get us all talking about them. Dive in via your favorite Podcast app or listen at the link above. Thanks for listening!
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!
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 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!
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!
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.
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!”
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.
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.