The Purple Stuff Podcast’s 2nd Halloween Minisode is now available! In this episode, we decided to document our trip to the dine-in movie theater. Obviously, we wanted to see something spooky and Annabelle Creation was the perfect choice. I’m a big fan of the films in The Conjuring universe, although Matt hasn’t really seen them. In this abbreviated episode we run down the details of the trailers we saw, the food we ordered, and maybe even a little bit about the movie too! We hope you enjoy this fun little installment of The Purple Stuff Podcast. You can subscribe to us on iTunes and if you want to support the show, leave us a positive review on there! Thanks for reading and listening!
This is an ultra-limited run of 31! Pre-orders for this horror-metal masterpiece will begin on Friday, August 18th at The Cryptocurium Etsy store.
I’m extremely excited to announce The Sexy Armpit’s first exclusive collectible. This incredible sculpture of Sammi Curr from one of my favorite horror films, Trick or Treat, is a result of collaborating with my friend Jason McKittrick from The Cryptocurium. It’s quite a tag-team of New Jersey horror freaks and it’s been a long time in the making! Jason’s homemade horrors speak for themselves. His creations are sculpted and painted by hand and are versatile since they include magnets on the back as well as a d-ring if you want to hang them on the wall. With unparalleled artistry, he handcrafted a brand new vision of Rock’s Chosen Warrior! I can actually hear Fastway blasting in the background every time I look at this beaut. This is a must-own for Trick or Treat fans and horror fans in general. Do whatever you need to do to get this mega limited , crash the Etsy server if you have to. If you pre-order you’ll have it in time for Halloween. Show your support for Sammi and The Sexy Armpit by purchasing this over the top cool sculpture. Once you receive it, be sure to tag @SexyArmpit and @Cryptocurium! #NoFalseMetal
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!
Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, and Podbean!
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!
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.
Good things come to those who wait, right? Obviously, that’s not guaranteed, but judging from what I’ve witnessed, it’s often proven true. Things I’ve only dreamed of as a kid have materialized. I’ve flexed with Hulk Hogan and I live in a world where there’s a Wonder Woman feature film. Life is good. In many respects, it keeps getting better. How’s that, you ask? Read on! Continue reading Battling For Metropolis…In My Backyard!
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.
For a guy who rarely likes to leave his condo I’ve sure been getting out a lot lately. I had a cool weekend and I’m here to tell you about it. Now’s a good time for a bathroom break because there won’t be another one until the end of the post!
JC Oddities Market, Cathedral Hall, Jersey City
Saturday marked the return of the JC Oddities Market at Cathedral Hall in Jersey City. I missed the last Oddities Market, so I made it a point to get there for this one. Plus, I needed to to fill my lifetime quota of attending an oddity flea market in an old church. Not only did I need to fill that very specific void, but with a long family history in Jersey City, I always look for any reason to venture there. Adding to that, my friend Bob Burke (the Glow Art champion of the world!) mentioned to me that he’d have a table there again. And to further reinforce my trip, the church is getting demolished at some point in the near future, so I’m glad I decided to go.
This macabre market was unlike anything I’d ever been to before. The old church (Saint Bridget’s) was adorned with string lights and a random, oversized Delia Deetz-style snake sculpture in the middle of the floor up near the altar. I felt like I was on the set of a late ‘90s low budget horror sequel. (Definitely a part 4 or later.) The middle of the church floor was lined with vendor tables and artists selling everything from records and artwork to taxidermy and homemade jewelry. If only OMC sang a song called “How Bazaar,” now would be the most appropriate time to have that pop in your head. Even after being to so many cons and flea markets, most of these vendors were brand new to me. The basement featured even more tables, so I surpassed my usual 15 minute zip-through for one of these things.
I also ran into my friend Nicole and her girlfriend. You may recall Nicole, fellow Jerseyan and horror fanatic, who way back in 2014, let me post a piece of her writing here at The Sexy Armpit. It was so great to meet her after being friends with her online for so long. Nicole has since changed her social media handles so you can now follow her at @allthedamnvamps on Twitter and @allthedamnvampires on IG.
As for pickups, going into this thing I’d say that tea wouldn’t be a thing that I would come home with…AT ALL. Oddly enough, Brutaliteas was on site and proved me completely wrong. They were giving out samples and making tea cooler than it ever was, one tiny ass sample cup at a time. The creative offerings from Brutalitieas are truly game changing. This Jersey couple crafts their own homemade teas and infuses them with a horror or hard rock twist i.e Back in Blackberry, Apricot for Destruction? C’MON! Those are a must buy merely on the wordplay alone. I tried a sample at their table and it was delicious and the aromas are amazing. I was sold. I bought 3 packs. It was so hard to decide from a slew of amazing themes. I narrowed it down to Screamsicle, The Detoxic Avenger (obviously had to get that one), and A Nightpear on Elm Street. I haven’t brewed them yet, but I will very soon. I’ll likely throw in some ice cubes because I’m an iced tea freak.
The benevolent Brutaliteas donates part of the proceeds from sales of the Detoxic Avenger (Lloyd Kaufman approved) to canine cancer. Courtney and Adam are a seriously wonderful couple and it was great to meet them. You can tell that they love what they’re doing because it shines through in their teas. And those PUNS! You can read about their story at their website.
Barcade is for getting buzzed and playing old video games. That was what I did the previous times I’ve been there. Although, I never thought I’d intentionally waltz into a Barcade for a late lunch without taking in an arcade game, but that’s exactly what happened. This time, I plopped myself down on a stool at the bar and ordered my usual drink and a…wait for it…veggie burger?!?! What?
Possibly a little known secret, Barcade’s veggie burger is badass! Equally as shocking, I’m a bit of a connoisseur of veggie burgers. I order veggie burgers almost anytime I can’t get eggplant parm. Spots like Barcade that make their own patties from original recipes in-house are the best. To order a veggie burger from a place that uses frozen patties is crazy because those could be made at home. If you’re into Veggie Burgers, get one next time you’re at Barcade. YUM! Tell me you don’t start getting hungry after reading the menu entry directly from their website:
Veggie Burger Deluxe
6 oz. fresh patty of beets, brown rice, and black beans topped with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo & spicy ketchup on a bun.
In between all this I literally just wandered around Jersey City basically all day. I kept running into the best eye candy for my Jersey obsession. I snapped some photos for posterity.
8-Bit Mystery Pin, The Monkey’s Paw Store
Saturday was a good mail day thanks to the arrival of the pin pictured above. Scooby Doo meets Jason Voorhees has always been a mash up I’ve desperately wanted to see come to fruition. We’ve come very close a few times going back to an episode of Robot Chicken, and then some artwork from artist Travis Falligant, then there was also the Mystery of Crystal Lake enamel pin by The Monkey’s Paw where Shag and Scoob had a run-in with Jason. I snatched that one up as soon as it was released, but not too long after, they started teasing this 8-bit styled sequel to their original pin. What makes these pins so incredible is that they both had a run of only 50 worldwide. It’s a total collector’s item for a guy like me who loves both Scooby-Doo and Friday the 13th.
On Sunday, we went to iPlay for an event that wound up getting cancelled. We had a couple of consolation drinks then walked through the arcade area where I found this beautiful DC Comics game. All the major characters were featured on the game. I was stoked to see their Bronze age versions represented so I had to share it here. I didn’t actually play the game, just stood there drooling over it and took a thousand photos of every panel as blatantly illustrated in the collage above. Now that I got that out of my system, maybe I’ll actually play it next time.
With 2 WWE events this weekend, (NXT Takeover and Backlash) I spent a lot of time on the WWE Network. I wound up unexpectedly re-binging CAMP WWE. To call it a binge is a bit of a stretch since the season only lasted 5 episodes. I’m sure watching them all again sounds pretty wild to even the most die-hard WWE fans, since almost everyone I’ve talked to about the show haven’t seemed too excited about it. The first time I watched it was about a day or so after the WWE premiered it on the network and I found it amusing, but wasn’t crazy for it. After a second helping, I’m finding myself loving it.
When you think about it, there hasn’t been a WWE animated show since Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, which I loved as a kid (around 75 years ago.) Merely for that reason alone, it automatically gains major cool points in my book. Think about it for a second, a modern day WWE animated series is pretty monumental. Wrestling AND cartoons combined? Drink it in maaaan! Let’s not take it for granted.
There’s also the fact that it’s funny thanks to a ton of in-jokes for wrestling fans. It’s written and produced by lifelong wrestling fans and that translates to a show that doesn’t dumb anything down. I found myself having a blast with it way more this time. The summer camp backdrop is like built-in nostalgia and Mr. McMahon hamming it up is incredible. Some of the other highlights of the show feature The Undertaker becoming one with nature, A 7-year old Stone Cold Steve Austin getting tanked on beers at a bar, an amusing appearance by Goldust as Mr. McMahon’s personal assistant, the actual Lex Express bus blowing up, and a truly hysterical take on Bray Wyatt. Check it out if you haven’t yet!
Ice Cream at Jersey Freeze
Before we headed home to catch WWE Backlash, I abruptly screeched the car off Route 33 and into the Jersey Freeze parking lot for some ice cream. The last time I was here was at least 15 years ago, so it was about time to rectify that. I got a cone with peanut butter pie ice cream. It was so delicious. I’ve never had this flavor before so I asked the girl behind the counter what was in it. She had no idea so she asked one of her coworkers. Once she mentioned peanut butter ice cream, bits of pie crust, and peanut butter cups I was putty in her hands. If you’re in the area this summer, make a pit stop there! (or an ARMPIT STOP! <rimshot>)
Thanks for reading about my latest excursion! Hope to see you back here soon!
I woke up at 8:00 AM on Saturday morning. The sky was dark and gloomy. It’s been unseasonably chilly for May, which I welcome. Anything to stave off the 90 degree heat and humidity of a typical Jersey summer is good by me.
The weather reports were threatening an all-day torrential downpour for the area. Hearing that is like winning a jackpot in Atlantic City, music to my ears. Keep talkin’ Carl Erickson. See, Carl is a weather anchor on 1010 WINS, our local AM radio station that spews non-stop news. As a teenager I swore that, as long as I lived, I would never listen to news radio. I adored the ‘90s TV series, NewsRadio, but the actual concept of an AM news station made me feel crusty and nearing the end. The fact that I’m discussing weather and news at length on my own website right now is seriously making me wonder about myself. Stick with me for a few, I need to go do some Snapchatting and buy a fidget spinner to clear the cobwebs. BRB.
Actually, I was told at work by a girl 10 years younger than me that nobody types BRB anymore. But, whatever, it’s still effective and I’m not giving it up anytime soon.
Ok, I’m back.
This impending storm sounded like the perfect intro for a trip to a haunted attraction, but, sadly, that wasn’t in the cards. On the upside though, as with all my excursions, I try to cram in as many activities as possible. I’ll relay them to you here in incredibly superfluous detail.
Experiencing a WSU event had been on my list for a long time. After several missed opportunities, I was dead set on making it happen this time around. Their event, BATTLE TESTED, was to be my main event for this trip. Getting to the arena was a bit of a drive for me, so, naturally, I planned a couple of stops along the way.
After gassing up, I picked up 3 cans of Monster Rehab and 2 sugar free Red Bulls, ya know, just in case I got drowsy. I don’t actually consume all that caffeine, but when it comes to 3 cans for $5.50 at Speedway, how can you not partake? Once I was cruising at a comfortable speed on the Turnpike, and my iPod playlist was shuffling along, I cracked a Red Bull. I nursed that baby all the way down to my first stop:
THE NEW JERSEY STATE MUSEUM, Trenton NJ
Museums behold such an oddly mysterious aura to me that I really dig. If you’ve listened to me talk about my love of old libraries on the Purple Stuff Podcast, it’s very similar to that. How can you go wrong in a giant building housing ancient artifacts, maps, and dinosaur fossils? Being a Jersey fanatic, you’d think I’d have visited this place umpteen times, but no! (I’ve been saying umpteen facetiously and constantly lately because it’s so ridiculous, so you are not exempt from this) As a lifelong Jersey resident, I’ve never stepped foot in this museum, but I was looking forward to it.
One specific exhibit grabbed me. I don’t think I would’ve been as compelled to add this to my itinerary if it wasn’t for Toy World. This is an exhibit spotlighting the history of toy manufacturing and innovation in New Jersey, totally up my alley. At least judging from the description on their website, another exhibit “Written in the Rocks,” seemed to up the ante as well. Perusing the oldest rocks, fossils, and dinosaurs from New Jersey would be an added bonus.
Although the Toy World exhibit was fairly small, it was definitely cool. I learned about Remco’s New Jersey history. Among so many remote control toys, they also created the first ever toy version of Dick Tracy’s two-way wrist radios. These were the real deal! This was long before the one that I remember getting in 1990 when the Dick Tracy movie came out. That thing was lame because it just had a light in it and didn’t actually communicate with other Dick Tracy watches.
Then there was the first talking doll. That thing was creepy A F! Did you know that Thomas Edison actually had the first patent on that? In the simplest terms, he basically inserted a mini record player into the doll and it made for an eerie, screechy baby voice that was audible via the QR code on the display case. I have a feeling if James Wan gets a hold of that recording he might use it for this next Annabelle installment.
Thankfully, there was a lot of reverence to Kresge’s Department Store in Newark. They were known for their Santa’s Toy World theme during Christmas time. To get an idea of their store front window display, think no further than when Ralphie was drooling over the Red Ryder BB Gun outside of Higbee’s in, A Christmas Story.
From joy buzzers to toy trains, New Jersey has a rich toy history, but what about their rocks and fossils?
The fossil display was pretty decent, although I was hoping for more of concentration on Dinos. A highlight for me, was one of the first specimens you see when you walk into this area. Two rocks, but not just regular rocks. These happened to be the oldest rocks in New Jersey. The rock pictured above, a Gneiss, is from Back Beach Park, in Wanaque, NJ and it’s approximately 1.37 BILLION years old. Can you believe something this old still exists?!? This rock was formed before any living thing existed on the Earth’s land. A Ted Theodore Logan “WHOA!” is in order.
Before leaving, I also took a stroll through the 3rd floor. No, not where Fuller sleeps, but a floor with a concentration on big items from New Jersey’s history. Out of all the amazing and historical treasures on display up there, I was pretty entranced by one in particular. Possibly the most important map of New Jersey in history hung on the wall. This was the map crafted by William Faden in 1778 which illustrated the divide between the state split into East and West Jersey. This map was used by the armies during the Revolutionary War. Nowadays, it’s common to think of the state split into North and South, but back then, it was opposite, and in many ways, it’s still relevant. We’ll come back to this concept later in this post my young Padawan.
That was it for my time in the State Museum. It was worth the trip. Sad to say though, what we have here in Jersey in terms of museums, PALE in comparison to what you’ll find in Manhattan. It’s unfair to compare for various reasons, but I do feel that with such a rich history that we should be better represented in terms of showcasing all the amazing events and people who have shaped this state. Enough of the history lesson, it’s time for the fun stuff! Next up was an impromptu detour:
COLUMBUS FARMER’S MARKET, Columbus, NJ
Longtime readers may remember this post, when we ventured here and found that crazy, disheveled store full of random toys here. A portion of this market caught fire several years ago and has since been refurbished. It looks great, but now lacks that old vintage flea market feel in those new parts of the building. I didn’t leave with any toys or collectibles, but I did get sucked in by the bakery, as I always do. Their prices are literally bonkers. They had giant containers filled with homemade pumpkin rolls for $2 bucks and homemade cookies were 3 for $1. I think 3 pies are $5 bucks. So, I got a taste of the fall in mid-May. Considering everything is made by these guys right there by hand, and the prices are that good, it’s worthwhile. I had planned on bringing these to the family for Mother’s Day, but I wound up forgetting them at home. That worked in my favor since I ate most of the cookies on my own anyway.
To say that I got wet on the way back to my car was an understatement. I wound up forgetting where I parked and jetted to the complete opposite side of the parking lot, only to realize that I actually parked right near the exit I walked out of. All in the pouring rain, what a dope!
Washed down a chocolate chunk cookie with the remaining warmish Red Bull. Now, back on the road! Next stop:
TUNES, Voorhees NJ
Honestly, I had no idea this record store chain even existed until I needed to make a U-turn into a strip mall parking lot. When I passed by the store I saw “USED DVDs and VINYL” and almost jumped out of my car with it still running. Ultimately, I calmed myself down enough to park in a spot. I spent a good 40 minutes in this store thumbing through previously viewed DVDs and old records. Keep in mind, I’m spoiled by Vintage Vinyl, widely recognized as one of the greatest record stores in the country that never closed down during the downward trend for music stores. That didn’t deter me from enjoying a browse through Tunes. For an independent chain, their prices were damn good. Some of my pickups included the first season of In Living Color, like new condition, for $3.74 (marked down from the price tag in the picture) and a few records for about $3 bucks each (the Top Gun was $5, probably because Tom Cruise apparently still commands top dollar I guess!). If you’re near any of their other locations, it’s well worth a pop-in. They have 4 locations in New Jersey and one in Maryland. To think that TUNES started as a small tape shack on the Ocean City Boardwalk is incredible.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is now time for our MAIN EVENT of the evening!
WSU BATTLE TESTED, Voorhees, NJ
Before I get into the actual event, I need to preface the geography for you to get a frame of reference of where it took place.
I drove into the Flyers Skate Zone like I was Triple H standing on top of an army tank. Of course, I’m exaggerating a bit, but there’s an intense rivalry between the Flyers and the Devils. Even as a casual hockey fan, it’s an uncomfortable situation to be in a facility called the Philadelphia Flyers Skate Zone, where the team practices – obviously not actually in Philly. To contrast this with our NFL situation, the New York Giants play and practice in Jersey while New York gets all the credit for their organization. WrestleMania 29 was in New Jersey, clearly did not take place in New York whatsoever, yet they billed it as New York-New Jersey. To my knowledge, the only WWE event to take place in multiple states was WrestleMania 2. But that’s just a tangent to get you to see the oddball nature of our state. We’ll always be the 2nd rate state, which is BS. Travel too far south or west and you’re in Pennsylvania. Live where I live and people think you’re from New York. So weird. Remember that map I said I would refer back to? See, it actually did apply to my trip later that day! I’m from East Jersey. BOOM. Thank you for your brilliant cartography, William Faden!
My first experience at Women Superstars Uncensored was awesome. I knew I’d have a good time, but didn’t realize that I would leave saying that I couldn’t wait to go back! My friend Chrissy Rivera, the #1 heel in the promotion, is really the person who turned me on to going. I mentioned to her a couple of times that I wanted to get down to a show, but I kept missing them. This time, it was on!
Right off the bat, I was impressed by the production value of the show. It may be that it’s been such a long time since I’ve been to an independent wrestling event, but I was impressed! Last time I was at a show like this, they didn’t have fancy colored lights or slip covers on the barricade, and they sure as hell didn’t have a multicolored LED entranceway with a video screen à la the WWE TitanTron! This was bananas. I felt right at home.
Since I’ve already exceeded my 6 million word cutoff, I won’t go through each match, but I’ll give you some of the highlights of this loaded card.
Kiera Hogan vs. Lana Austin for the Spirit Championship
The alluring Lana Austin likes to show off her bum and use it to her advantage, an aspect that was welcomed with open arms by the crowd. Prior to the match, she pleaded with the ref to check butt cheeks to see if she had any foreign objects stuck inside her trunks. In case you were wondering, I approve of this gimmick. The Spirit champ, Kiera Hogan is tiny, but packed with speed, power, and charisma. At first, Lana had the upper hand, but in the end, Kiera overcame Lana’s posterior offense to retain her title.
The Fella Twins vs. Maria Manic (Handicap Match) for the Tag Team Championship
The Fella Twins were completely new to me, and what comes to mind is Adrian Adonis. This androgynous team was over the top and didn’t hold back on spewing insults and screaming at the top of their lungs, it was amazing. They lived their personas. The Fella Twins faced their former friends (I’m gathering) from a faction they had called The Fella Academy, Maria Manic and her partner Penelope Ford. Ford didn’t show up so it turned into a handicap match. With the odds stacked against her, Manic was able to subdue the Fella Twins to capture the title.
The Reckoning vs. Leva Bates, Xandra Bale, Veda Scott, Missy Sampson, and Mia Yim inside of a Steel Cage
A STEEL CAGE was erected for the main event! As a lifelong wrestling fan, and knowing there have been some stinkers through the years, seeing that steel cage still gets me excited. This was a War Games type match that pitted The Reckoning, the most badass group of heels in WSU vs. Leva Bates (Blue Pants from NXT), Xandra Bale, Veda Scott, Missy Sampson, and Mia Yim (Jade formerly of TNA).
This match was batshit crazy in the best ways possible. From the aggressive hard hitting power moves to Samantha Heights’ dive off the top of the cage, it was the perfect finale for the evening. Getting to see Chrissy Rivera in action and watch her expertly lead her Reckoning faction was a treat. The fiery and controlling Chrissy and the Undead Bride, Su Yung together are brilliant. Yung looks like she walked straight out of a grave with her bloody bridal gown and smeared kabuki makeup. She captures my heart every time she spits blood.
I couldn’t possibly pack more punch into this day, so I headed home. I capped off the night by burrowing into the couch and watching Beyond the Gates. Thank you for reading about my latest Sexy Armpit excursion!
WrestleMania Weekend is upon us! Fans across the world wait all year for this epic event and it’s finally here. On my end, it’s become more of a multi-day celebration of watching old ppv’s, checking out the Hall of Fame and NXT Takeover. OH and drinking Tequila and eating way too damn much. What a blast! Let’s head down to ringside…
Me and Dinosaur Dracula wanted to present our love of the WWE once again on the Purple Stuff Podcast. Last year’s WWE show was a blast so we’re doing it again. This time, we’re counting down some of the most underrated and often overlooked WWE Theme songs of all time. These aren’t your typical entrance themes that usually get bandied around on top 50 lists. Matt and I have both brought some really “special” tunes. Yes, you might connect with the Ultimate Warrior’s theme, and I do too obviously, but something has to be said for the lesser WWE Superstars of yore.
The latest episode comes in time for you to enjoy it as part of your WrestleMania parties. Thank you for listening and reading! If you want to support our show you can subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts and spread the word! We’d love to hear some of your underrated classic theme songs below.