The Force Awakens…it’s so close that I can feel the force flowing through me! We’ve waited so long and now it’s only a couple of weeks away. Getting a new Star Wars film is quite a Christmas present, that’s for sure. You’ll need something to keep you occupied until December 18th (or 17th depending on when you’re seeing it!) so Matt and I decided it was our duty as Jedi to bring you a podcast celebrating our love of Star Wars in honor of The Force Awakens. Available now, is our show where we discuss all of our “Force Flashbacks.” There’s Star Wars nostalgia and memories galore, so enjoy it and May the Force Be With YOU!
Where were we? Oh yes, we were driving up the New Jersey Turnpike after the Monster Mania convention and decided to make a little detour…
With the record breaking cold temperatures here in New Jersey, reminiscing on one of our warm weather adventures is comforting. We saved the best for last and did our exterior inspection first. The outdoor portion of the Columbus Flea Market is an endless sea of vendor tables. I may be off by one or two, but there must have been 75,000 vendor tables selling everything from knockoff colognes featuring scents like Sweaty Taint and Phys-ed Funk to multicolored belts, statues, and cheap sunglasses. Naturally, we made it our f’n mission to literally walk through every single aisle as if the tables were the hedge maze and we were The Torrances.
Let’s see how much more I can elaborate on the junk at the outdoor tables. We’re talking cheap motorized toys, belts, gaudy sweaters, faux jewelry, generic brands of laundry detergent, and lots of other weird, totally random shit. And then the handbags. Jeezus, ladies and their handbags. If guys were girls they would have one handbag, but girls are girls and they have like 12 and they’re always looking for two more, one for that wedding they have to go to and the other because the ones they have just can’t fit everything. I think I just had a heat stroke. Man it was hot out there.
My body does not handle the sun and heat very well, so we made our way inside to see what treasures awaited us. As we passed through the entrance, Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” lightly trickled out of the ancient P.A system like a refreshing mist of cool rain.
“…Nothing ever lasts forever…”
The white tile floors, no longer shiny, coated with a decade of dust, forced my eyes to the storefronts that housed all kinds of bizarre bullshit. To the left, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the neglected vending machines, red, encasing charms that now easily exceed their quarter price due to their age. A dollar at least, by today’s eBay standards. Soda machines had the cooler, early ’90s logos. We were in a blissful wonderland, one of the biggest and oldest flea markets in the state and we were having a blast.
You always know the types of stuff that will set off your nerd alerts, but there are also things there that you’d never expect would excite you. For example, I never thought I’d pop so big for Rebecca’s Soft Pretzels, mostly because I barely ever eat pretzels, unless they’re from WaWa and filled with sweet cream, but their menu signage was so damn gigantic, hanging from the drop ceiling like a cumulonimbus cloud made of toasted almond sprinkles, it was hard not to be enticed. I didn’t wind up getting a pretzel, but for some reason Rebecca’s Pretzel’s stuck out in my head. Probably because it was nestled in an offshoot wing of the flea that might have been some sort of Amish haven, if I recall correctly. But, I might be pulling a Brian Williams here, so don’t hold me to that. #WhoopiePies
The reason I go anywhere is if there’s a possibility of seeing or buying old toys, records, or collectibles, because what else is there in life? We immediately zeroed in on one store in particular. I’m sorry Wicker emporium, tablecloth store, Bologna Kitchen, and bedazzled ladies leisure wear shop, you can all go screw.
As we continued exploring the shops, there was one store window that had plush toys and giant stuffed animals that looked as if they were manufactured sometime in 1993. If you’ve seen one knock off Lots-a-Lots-a-Leggggggs you’ve seen them all, but, coincidentally, it was another storefront where Jason Voorhees himself brought our Nikes to a screeching halt. “15% off marked toys,” read a homemade cardboard sign laying underneath Grover and Scooby. Yuuup! It was a collectible shop and we were heading inside in full force.
What did we do next? Dove right into this ginormous mess of CRAP, some call it treasure. In this case, it was like a collector’s neglected musty basement where stuff was thrown in every corner. There was absolutely zero organization and no logic to where items were tossed. Put it this way, if you were a contestant on Finders Keepers and had to find a baseball buried in this store, you’d be completely fucked.
It was impossible to process the magnitude of stuff that was stacked, scattered, hanging, and buried around this shop. Paint the picture in your mind of the following items in complete disarray: old magazines, records, statues, loose toys, playsets, sports memorabilia, autographs, mint in box and carded Star Wars and Wrestling toys, masks, ride-on toys, Cabbage Patch Kids, the list goes on and on. Really, none of it was in the best condition, but if there was one specific item that you were looking for, and they happened to have it, you’d be one happy camper.
This lack of organization was like anarchy. It can cause an unfathomable amount of anxiety to a collector. Seeing so many collectibles in such shambles agitated me a bit, but I also found some charm in all of it at the same time, since it created a stark contrast to one of those cold, museum-like stores with no personality. Here, it seemed more likely that there was something really amazing buried beneath the debris. Would we find it?
I kept gravitating toward a full wall-sized shelf that was packed with tons of random retro relics (how ya like me now?). The shelves were like the walls of the 53rd precinct and were literally bleeding junk out of each compartment. I needed a closer look.
OWNER: “You can’t go back there”
ME: “I’d like to look at something I want to buy.”
OWNER: “Nobody goes back there, you’ll knock everything over.”
This was a 12-15 foot span of wall shelving set behind another span of lower shelving chock full of stuff that the owner would not allow anyone to inspect. After his warning, a middle aged woman complained to me that she had the same issue with him and she didn’t understand why. Things couldn’t really get more messed up in there anyway. My eyes kept locking in on old Munsters and Gremlins stuff. Much of the stuff was still in its original, worn boxes.
Eventually, I pitched gaining access to the store owner again because there was one thing I wanted to look at further, I can’t remember what it was, but at the time it was screaming for my attention.
ME: “Can I please just go back there for a minute? I promise I won’t touch anything or knock anything over.”
Somehow, I must’ve assured him enough that I wouldn’t mess anything up and persuaded him to let me get in there. It was during all this that Matt was having a moment not too dissimilar to the time when Janosz locked eyes with Vigo, except picture Dino Drac and a 1979 12″ Kenner Alien figure. It was broken, of course. Even though the figure was loose, far from mint, and its leg was removed, the owner explained how Matt could fix it. The ludicrous price tag for such a fixer upper was so not worth it. It was so expensive that Matt wasn’t heartbroken when he had to part with it when we left. Now, if the Alien figure came with a homemade crutch and the broken leg had a cast on it with a fake Sigourney Weaver signature on it, I think Matt may have paid the guy double for it. Further down to the rear of the store you can see the $4,000 dollar Watto, he was out of both of our price ranges too.
Being in this store was both amazing and completely underwhelming at the same time. Then the mood became borderline sad. “The whole store is on sale for $50,000,” the store owner told me.
Smirking, I looked at Matt and we tried desperately to decipher if we both really just heard that. The price was a bit preposterous. He didn’t mean 50k for the actual deed to his space in the flea market, nope, just the garbage inside of it.
I decided to ask him the prices on a few things just to see if he was trying to scam customers. A vintage Cher doll was a “Hundred bucks.” She was loose, had messy hair, and didn’t have the original clothes. The high prices seemed to be a recurring theme in there. We didn’t buy anything.
I’m sorry to do this to you. Talk about an Empire Strikes Back ending.
A few months later, the poor old guy who ran the store died of a sudden heart attack at the flea market one day. I couldn’t help but think the guy may have been trying to raise money for his own medical bills, or pay some kind of debt, but who knows? Either way, without knowing the specifics and personal situation of the owner, the message I glean from this whole story is that you can literally become buried in your own stuff, and it can weigh you down and cause anxiety. So, why not open a shop and sell all your shit immediately for 50 grand?
Fast forward to November 2014. News broke that a large portion of the indoor part of the Columbus flea market burned to the ground, well at least the majority of the building did. I was shocked. What’s crazier is that I hadn’t heard about any of this until last week when a friend at work mentioned it. Most people I talk to knew about the fire, but not the owner of the store.
It’s been a few months since the fire, and we’re mere weeks away from the next Monster Mania, so there doesn’t seem to be a more appropriate time to reminisce. Looking back, not jumping right away to post a blog and pictures from this trip was probably for the best. It’s given me the chance now to look back on this place and the quirky memories of the day we spent there.
If you’re a collector or just like to go to weird junk places, they sort of all bleed together in your mind after being to so many of them, but this one definitely stands out, not for the bizarre toy den, but more for the PIZZA. Ahh, see, for a second you thought this post was booked to be the most grim in Sexy Armpit history, but, nope, I have other plans.
You’ve heard the old quote about how all pizza is good pizza, and even bad pizza is good because it’s still pizza, right? Unless we’re talking certain kinds of frozen pizza, that statement always rings true.
Inside the Columbus flea market we sat ourselves down at the stools of a large rectangular bar that served pizza. We were lured into Pete’s Pizza because it smelled amazing and the sign was glorious. Their mascot was like a cross between Little Caesar and Frenchy Martin. It was one of the best pizza places ever. Why? Well, a lot of it had to do with the lady behind the counter being so attentive to us, and of course, the pizza was delicious, but what cemented this honor was their choice of dinnerware. Our pizza was served on Happy 5th Birthday paper plates! This is the only thing that can help you forget about the death, disorder, and fiery madness that you’ve had to endure in this post. Happy 5th Birthday!
604 Republic offers “gear for every geek,” but for some reason tonight’s ingenious tee is not available anywhere on their site. And after checking out the site, I’m not sure how the Bootleg Wars: Boardwalk Empire tee design merely has a GOOD rating. That’s absurd! If there was a kickass option then I think that’s the proper vote. The mash-up that artist, Ken Oliver, came up with is so awesomely wacky! On the gray, black, and yellow design, Darth Vader is looking spiffy as Nucky Thompson, and the Stormtroopers are dressed as gangsters, while the Death Star looms in the distance.
1. After the first sneak preview episode of Green Lantern The Animated Series premiered, I admit that I wasn’t sold on it. It only took another episode or two before I was completely hooked. Considering I’m one of the few supporters of the feature film with Ryan Reynolds you would think I just accept whatever DC and WB regurgitates to me. That’s not the case at all, I am a life-long DC fan and I’m just glad other characters like GL are finally getting some damn exposure. I’ll take what I can get since fans like me have waited a lifetime to get movies and shows that don’t feature Batman and Superman. The GL animated series just keeps getting better with each show. Now I’ll get to my point: here’s a list of characters that I’d like to see action figures made of based on the GL animated series (in no particular order) – 1) Bleez 2) Aya and 3) Star Sapphire. (Notice they are all women, aside from a female robot.) I also want a Zilius Zox figure and I’m fully aware that there’s a DCU Action League Figure of him, but I fear if I get him I will want to start collecting all of them.
2. Cake doesn’t really appeal to me all that much. The saying “Let them eat cake” falls on deaf ears in my world, that is unless it’s Carrot Cake! Carrot Cake has always been one of my favorite desserts and for some reason it seems so much more prevalent nowadays. I see it at the buffet at Harrah’s in Atlantic City and on menus all the time. It took a while, but Carrot Cake is finally getting it’s due. The mark of it’s official “arrival”on the dessert scene is that it now has it’s own ice cream from Blue Bunny. I have conflicting feelings about this. On one hand I lost my mind with excitement when I saw the commercial for Carrot Cake ice cream, but on the other hand I am pissed off beyond belief because it’s only available in stores more than 20 miles away. I really want to try it so I’ll probably be taking that ride soon! Check it out here at the Blue Bunny site. Next, I hope they have Sexy Armpit Cake flavor.
3. The less than stellar reviews are not going to keep me from going to see Dark Shadows at some point this weekend. I know Tim Burton seems to make the same movie every time and Johnny Depp is as over the top as ever, but that’s the sort of stuff I like. Nowadays Burton really seems like a one trick Pony and to an extent so does Depp, but ultimately what they create onscreen never fails to entertain and that’s really the point. A nice light gothic diversion will do the trick.
4. Even though I’m a Jersey boy through and through, I’m going to be a super happy camper on Wednesday June 13th. At 9 PM that night, the continuation of DALLAS on TNT will premiere. If you think it’s just some old cheesy night time soap opera, think again. Naysayers probably never even watched it. It’s my favorite show of all time and I rewatched all the episodes on DVD as they were released. When I was a kid, DALLAS was event television. Life stopped when DALLAS was on. From the early reviews posted on Ultimate Dallas, it may be just as awesome as it used to be. If you’re a female reading this and you are going to check it out, there’s Josh Henderson and Jesse Metcalf for you to look at and for the dudes, there’s Jordana Brewster and Julie Gonzalo to drool over. Everybody wins. Plus, there’s lots of cameos from original cast members…now that calls for a bourbon and branch!
5. I’m a sucker for Roller Derby and coming up on June 9th at Asbury Park Convention Hall, The Jersey Shore Roller Girls have a bout referred to as DERBY WARS! It’s like Star Wars, but with Roller Derby. Actually, it’s not just an excuse to use the Star Wars font on their poster, they are actually having real live Stormtroopers at this bout! At this event you’ll see the Murder Beach Militia take on the Right Coast Rollers. It’s a really fun night out and the girls hang and take pictures with everyone after the bout. For more information go to www.JerseyShoreRollerGirls.net.
By now you’re probably sick of hearing about the winner of the 2011 Miss U.S.A Pageant, but how can I not throw my two cents in? The buzz around the blogosphere for Alyssa Campanella is on the brink of being out of hand and it’s only been a couple of days since Miss California won the Miss USA crown. Why would The Sexy Armpit hail Miss California as this month’s Garden State Playmate? Well because this fox is originally a Jersey girl, so screw you California!
Campanella is not your average beauty queen. Sure, much of the reason for all the buzz on Miss California is because she’s freaking HOT, but it’s also credited to her status as a “geek.” It seems as if the whole geek culture has officially arrived now that there’s a mega popular TV show revolving around it, (Big Bang Theory), and now even Miss U.S.A is a full fledged geek. Tons of blogs and news articles are concentrating on this bit of her personality. Fact is, she was brave enough to show her personality unlike many other contestants and perhaps showing that she’s a real girl, not a robot helped her win.
Campanella has been open about her passion for watching the Star Wars movies. Almost every headline I read about her winning the pageant has mentioned Star Wars. Even the official Star Wars blog featured a story on her! In addition to Star Wars, she loves hockey, history, science, space exploration, and watching cable shows like Game of Thrones and Camelot. So that does give hope to guys out there looking for a girl with similar interests. There are cool girls out there! She’s a geek’s dream girl!
Instead of just harping on her love of geek stuff, allow me to provide some of her vital stats. Originally from Manalapan, New Jersey, Campanella held a 4.0 GPA while she attended Freehold Township High School. She also graduated a year early and went on to win Miss New Jersey Teen USA in 2006. And in case you were wondering, Wikipedia notes that she’s originally a blonde and dyes her hair red.
The Miss USA pageant has been held for nearly the last 60 years. On a side note, Miss New Jersey has never won the title of Miss USA but with a little searching you might discover that some of the winners such as Campanella are not representing the states where they are originally from. So here’s to our own Miss Nerd Jersey, Alyssa Campanella!
I’m not going to sit here and pout about how old I feel or how Christmas doesn’t effect me anymore. OK, so, I admit I can’t watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas if it’s past 8 PM or I will fall asleep on the couch. Naturally, Christmas time has become more hectic as I’ve gotten older, but it’s still one of the most fun times of the year. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like getting presents (of course there’s always some jackass who says they hate getting gifts), but giving gifts is even more fun. Some of the gifts I gave this year included a custom sculpted Dean Martin statue, an iPod, and a Kitchen Aid mixer. Those items may not intrigue you, but they delighted their receipients. Now it’s time to show you some of the stuff that I got for Christmas. It was impossible to fit every gift into the picture so some of the items are not shown, but I’ll tell you all about them.
My girlfriend knows how I feel about snuggies. But she went out on a limb anyway and bought me the Superman snuggie as a goof thinking that I would get a kick out of it. I think it’s actually really cool. See how the super hero/fanboy aspect changes the perspective of everything? For example, my reaction if you gave me a package of napkins for Christmas: “Oh great…napkins,” but if they had the Bat symbol on them look at how quickly the reaction changes: “OH THESE ARE SOME F*CKING COOL NAPKINS! THANK YOU!!!” Something tells me that those napkins are never coming out of the cellophane! In the end, the Superman snuggie was a fun gift, but not because it’s a snuggie, there’s more to it than that. Donning this snuggie actually transforms you into a comfy, cozy Superman because it has Superman’s costume on the front of it! The only problem is, when I put it on, I don’t feel like saving the good citizens of Metropolis from a disaster, I really feel like zonking out on my couch. It’s a little couterproductive, but at least I’ll be Superman in my dreams.
It’s nearly impossible to buy me a DVD or Blu-ray disc that I don’t already have. There are so many movies that I enjoy but I don’t see myself ever watching again. For me to own a movie it has to have a high rewatchability factor. Such is the case of Scott Pilgrim on Blu-ray because it kicks ass and it’s visually exciting. This was one of the only things I really had on my imaginary wish list. The vintage record album drink coaster set was a really cool gift too. I do have several coasters at home, but these are unique and look exactly like their original vinyl counterpart. (If you have really keen eyesight, you noticed that the one visible in the picture is a RUN DMC album.) There was also STAR WARS Mad Libs! which are even more fun if you fill them in with fellow Star Wars fans. *Here’s an example of what my friends and I came up with: “The Force is an energy field created by all living FECES” (plural noun), and “A Jedi can also use the Force to move objects with his or her TONGUE” (part of the body).
A couple of weeks before reading about it on X-E, I saw the Christmas Smurf plush at Macy’s with my girlfriend and I wanted one to add to my Christmas condo decorations. I was always a big Smurfs fan as a kid, but I have yet to buy any of the new Smurf collectibles. Once the movie comes out there will be Smurfs everywhere, so this is just the Smurf of the iceberg. What makes this Christmas Smurf different from the other ones in the store was that he had a ticket for Lady Gaga at the Prudential Center in Newark attached to his scarf! I don’t care if you want to disown me now that you know that I am a Gaga fan. After seeing Lady Gaga live in concert at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City this past July, I rank her show just below a KISS concert. It’s a huge production that has a storyline, elaborate choreography, and music that she pours her heart and soul into.
As you can see, I was very fortunate and Santa Claus treated me well this year. I also received plenty of nice shirts, ties, a scarf, tea tree shampoo, money, and gift cards. Thank you to everyone for the AWESOME gifts! What were some of the gifts you received this year?
Bruce Springsteen didn’t just pull a random New Jersey road out of the back pocket of his jeans to name drop in “Born to Run.” Much like the escalator in Kevin Smith’s Mallrats, Route 9 should be feared and respected. Not only is the road filled with potholes in many stretches of it’s Garden State sprawl, but it’s also known for it’s fast, furious, and f-cked up drivers. If you have the choice, you’re better off staying away and re-routing your GPS. And whatever you do, don’t walk on the side of the highway, or as Dr. Evazan said in the cantina scene in Star Wars… “You’ll be DEAD!” Or to one up myself…as Admiral Bruce Ackbarsteen said “It’s a DEATH TRAP!”
This article from Jackson NJ Online News featured a report on New Jersey’s Most Dangerous Roads for Pedestrians. If you live in Jersey, reading this information is vital to your survival! Route 9 comes in at number 2 on the list, but then again, Bruce Springsteen didn’t mention US-130 in one of his immortal songs now did he?
I try to refrain from posting so much about MTV’s Jersey Shore. The Internet is flooded with it, but I couldn’t help posting these Star Wars/Jersey Shore Mash Up Trading Cards. Thanks to my friend Steve who found them on Buzzfeed today via Starcasm.net. I couldn’t resist…these are genius, although they snubbed the REAL Jersey girl Sammi Sweetheart, as well as J-Wow for that matter.
Unfortunately, The Whereabouts just doesn’t have the same ring as The Situation. I’m absolutely furious that Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino has tarnished one of the best words in the English language forever. All the hipsters who actually enjoy watching MTV will now associate the word SITUATION with a former male stripper from Staten Island. In fact, this guy helped make Jersey Shore the pop culture phenomenon that it is, and the m-therfucker is from Staten Island?!?! He’s what true Jersey Shore folks call a Benny! Or as you may remember in a scene from Star Wars: A New Hope “We don’t serve their kind here!”
When I was but a young whippersnapper, the word SITUATION was well respected. It was an esteemed word that didn’t come to mind when sweaty, fist pumping, ‘roided out, guidos were mentioned. The real situation is the puddles going on in their armpits! (That is not Sexy). Can you remember a simpler time not so long ago? Take a moment to think back to a period of your life when the mere mention of the word situation elicited such cool and recognizable song lyrics such as “OK, here’s the SITUATION my parents went away on a weeks vacation…” I’m going to make a safe wager that Will Smith doesn’t even care that whenever I hear one of his legendary rhymes, a Staten Island guido will completely cloud my mind and impair me from enjoying the rest of DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s classic “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” Every time I hear the word situation, it feels like I’m having a little heart attack.
I used to chant along wild and passionate with Motley Crue’s frontman Vince Neil, and shout “It’s the saaame ol’, saaame ol’ SITUAAATION!” and now thank goodness I have a medical alert button around my neck or someone would literally have to kickstart my heart. This guy is frigging everywhere! I can’t think of a more appropriate time to say WTF? Have you ever been sitting around quietly reflecting on the events of the day and suddenly began to think to yourself…”What the hell happened to Yaz?” Well, coincidentally, that happens to me quite often and even when I looked them up and found out that they reunited in 2008, it still slips my mind what the hell happened to Yaz. So, in order to recall Yaz’s glory days of British synth pop stardom, I have to crank up the iPod and spin the click wheel to one of their biggest hits, yep, you f-cking guessed it…SITUATION!!! What a word killing bastard! I’m getting a class action lawsuit against this guy for ruining one of my favorite words ever!
To protect my heart from failure, I’ll be refraining from using the word S——-N from now on. Since Mike Sorrentino rose to fame thanks to MTV’s Jersey Shore, it was merely a week until I started seeing “I Love The S——-N” T-shirts.
Can’t we be a little more creative here people? At the very least I would have expected some illustrated abdominal muscles on the front or “Lift up my shirt to see The S——-N!” Dammit, I should be this assholes PR guy. They could’ve had a shirt that would give the tuxedo t-shirt a run for its money! (This eBay store should be ashamed of themselves for creating the most uninspired S——-N shirt ever.)
Shitty t-shirts aside, one of these days, The Sexy Armpit will inform The S——-N all about how he’s permanently massacred one of the finest words in our vernacular. Hopefully by that time I’ll have ruined the words SEXY and ARMPIT for him!
I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the most influential idols in my life, George Carlin:
“…Newspeople like to say ‘police have responded to an emergency situation,’ no they haven’t, they’ve responded to an EMERGENCY, we know it’s a situation…everything is a situation!”
Where to find these shirts:
Garden State Parkway Inspired Tee designed by Skeezoid on CafePress.com
“I Love the…” at the official Jersey Shore store at Zazzle.com, and yes…they even have t-shirts for your dog.
Mike’s Quote Tee from mdunphy89 found in her Sweet T’s store at Zazzle.com