CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND VIDEO TOUR!

Christmas Wonderland at Maple Leaf Farms, Route 9 South, Manalapan, NJ

Finding quirky and offbeat stuff to do for Halloween seems to be super easy for me. Christmas on the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be nearly as much going on. It’s ironic to think about because Christmas is such a mega holiday in terms of spending and venturing out to holiday themed events with the fam. As you may have guessed, I’m not really one for the typical nonsense. For example, I ice skated once in my life and although I didn’t bust my ass, I felt like any second I could plummet into the darkest regions of hell. It was not fun. Sliding around in circles on ice, while balancing on a thin, sharp blade is not my idea of fun, especially in the cold. Going to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is always an annual “must” for locals, but I’ve been there, done that a million times. Nowadays it’s even more of a hassle because the vicinity around the tree is so crowded with tourists, and as crotchety as that makes me sound, it’s even worse than you could imagine. I get claustrophobic in crowds and it isn’t just there, Manhattan in general during the holidays that gets overwhelmingly packed with people. So not my jam.

I had way more fun lounging on the couch sipping Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale and watching The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix than I could ever have battling holiday traffic and crowds. Ugh, such nonsense! If I sound like Scrooge, then I can’t argue. Recently, an esteemed colleague at work affirmed this very sentiment for me. She told me that during the holidays she goes away to Florida to her summer home (must be nice!) and for the entire stretch of the season she relaxes with her husband and they literally don’t do a damn thing except snack and watch movies on the couch. She went even deeper to declare that is what the holidays are all about for her. Not to beat a dead horse, but I recently learned that my co-host on The Purple Stuff Podcast, Matt from Dino Drac, feels the exact same way.

While I always consider myself a champion of vegetating on the couch whenever possible, conversely I may be a bigger proponent of devising elaborately stacked plans of themed things to do. What can I say? Points of interest pique my interest and Clark Griswold has always been one of my idols. Maximizing the fun is one of my main objectives in life.

I didn’t want to piss this holiday season away without some actual merry making. After a lot of useless Googling, it felt like finding a unique, Christmassy thing to do in Jersey was becoming hopeless. But, right around the moment when I was about to give up, we drove passed Maple Leaf Farms on the way home one night. I noticed a sign that said “Christmas Wonderland,” as I swung an abrupt General Lee style turn into the parking lot. The building’s exterior is similar to any other run of the mill country store, except for being adorned with an over-sized, inflatable Santa Claus. The best part about this is that I had no idea what to expect inside. Would it be a bunch of crafts, wooden soldier centerpieces, and cinnamon sticks OR would we be delighted by a decked out display of endearing decor? That sentence was Heavy on the D.

Watch the video to see what I discovered inside the Christmas Wonderland. If you don’t have 5 minutes to spare, it was a sight to behold and totally lived up to its namesake! This traditional walk through, accompanied by a laid back Christmas playlist running throughout the space, is comprised of animatronics that the proprietor has rescued from old store window displays, malls, and various other means. He restored them superficially as well as their electronic components inside that made them seem magically alive in their heyday. It’s like he is a human droid factory. After speaking with him about his undying attention to detail and his commitment to the Christmas spirit, his goal was creating a vintage Christmas vibe and he succeeded, and then some.

My nostalgia needle was off the charts in this place. In a world of Nintendo Switch and Occulus Rift, these old school animatronic characters may not bowl a lot of you over since our technology expectations are so far beyond them, but these are the kind of novelties that I absolutely love to gaze at. My affection for them can be likened to why I love the old Telco Motionettes. Those were like the home versions of these little dudes! Inside the Wonderland, the snowmen move in slow motion, Goofy’s arm goes up and down, and there’s even a little tribute to the time Santa conquered those Martians! Snow covered Christmas trees are set up in every corner and adorning the pipe and draped halls leading to each next display were actual Christmas themed product ad posters from the old days bestowing that extra spoonful of authenticity. Just when you think it’s over, the finale leads you to a BIG room with the BIG jolly man himself. That’s right, pictures with Santa are included with your minimal entrance fee.

Experiencing this throwback to simpler times was a much needed little break from the world. Take the family on a little drive to Manalapan, NJ down route 9 for a dose of Christmas cheer before the season is out and see for yourself. There’s a TON of heart and LOADS of Christmas spirit poured into this and making it a success will ensure that it continues every year!

 

Purple Stuff Podcast: Christmas Songs IV!

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In an effort to make your spirits bright, here’s a new episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast! The Christmas season is in full swing and that means me and Dino Drac are bringing you our 4th set of holiday song choices! We spent countless hours forming this merry mix of tunes and we hope you enjoy it. In this episode we’ve got some classics and some newer favorites, but all are quite “interesting” in their own ways. Twisted Sister, Britney Spears, and The Chipmunks are just a few of the artists featured in this episode. Refill your eggnog and enjoy! If you haven’t done so yet, please subscribe, or leave a rating if you can! Also, we are now on Patreon so if you would like to subscribe you can gain access to our exclusive monthly show that goes directly to our supporters! Thank you for reading and listening!

AQUAMAN ICE CREAM AT COLD STONE CREAMERY!

Every so often a movie tie-in pulls me in as if I was an 8 year old kid. I’m the type of guy who is already enamored with any kind of promotion via junk food. If you’re reading this, there’s like a 90% chance you’re the same way. It doesn’t take much more than a big, epic tentpole movie and a themed bag of chips, a limited flavor neon colored soda, or an ill-conceived snack cake filled with non-standard icing to suck me right in. This leads me to introduce to you, the movie tie-in that I just cannonballed right into.

AQUAMAN ICE CREAM DELICACIES AT COLD STONE M’FN CREAMERY!

Thrust upon us like a tidal wave thanks to the impending release of Aquaman in theaters, I’m convinced that Poseidon has bestowed this upon us as an early Christmas gift. It’s exciting enough to be getting the first ever live action Aquaman movie directed by James Wan, but to get a brilliant tie in like this? I cannot gush enough about how perfect and creative this promotion is. The deliciousness comes in two forms:

AQUAMAN’S BLUE VELVET BROWNIE SUNDAE

(Blue Velvet Cake Ice Cream with Brownie, Chocolate Chips, and Metallic Glitter!)

BLUE ice cream. Yes, I’ve had blue ice cream before. But this is BLUE VELVET CAKE ICE CREAM. Imagine an expansive ocean or body of water being turned into a thick, rich, luscious blue frozen treat. After my first couple of spoonfuls it was obvious this thing was 40 billion calories and a million grams of sugar so I just said F it. The sweetness was strong, but mellowed out a bit once I caught a few giant hunks of chewy chocolate brownie. The metallic glitter added a cool accent of color although it didn’t taste like much. It was as if you were wrapping Christmas gifts and starting cutting the gold ribbon into little microscopic shards and peppering it over your dessert. Or if you were to do the same thing but with the plastic grassy stuff that you fill an easter basket with. I think you catch my drift. Not your traditional garnish, but that’s what elevates it to the next level. Regardless, this one is more for the chocolate lovers out there.

AQUAMAN’S BLUE VELVET SHAKE

(Blue Velvet Cake Ice Cream with Yellow Cake, garnished with Whipped Topping and Metallic Glitter!)

Once the straws were dunked into this divine delicacy, I envisioned myself being shrunk down like The Atom and taking a Goonies-esque slide down through the straw into the gorgeous, sweet creamy sea.  Naturally, it wouldn’t be easy to hold my breath under the ice cream, but it was fun to fantasize about it. The shake was delicious and I was definitely digging this one more than the brownie sundae. It gave me a chance to concentrate on how smooth and tasty the ice cream was. I picked up tastes of the yellow cake as well, which I enjoyed. Keep in mind though, I’m not a big chocolate person, so if you are, go for the sundae! Again the metallic glitter is sprinkled on top to add some glitz to the affair. And even though the sprinkles don’t add much in terms of taste, its just fun to imagine that you’re eating bits of rare sunken 14k gold treasure.

There was no way I wasn’t going to be front and center for this promotion like it was my job. As you can see, the fact that I felt so compelled to write an actual blog post about this whole thing should be enough of an indication of how tremendous it is. Would I have enjoyed an Aquaman cereal? I sure as hell would, but maybe when the sequel gets released. The Cold Stone/Aquaman pairing came as a bit of surprise to me since I only realized it existed yesterday and it totally exceeded my expectations. This is the kind of movie tie-in that I adore. It’s all a pleasant surprise and actually tastes awesome and LOOKS cool as hell.

To sum up my little review of this Aquaman Ice Cream tie-in, let me take you back real quick. Growing up a DC kid, it wasn’t like there was a drought of DC food promotions. Some of the memorable ones off the top of my head include Superman and Batman Peanut Butter, Batman Taco Bell cups, McDonalds Batman Forever glasses, and if I wanted to look around my condo, I could list all the rest. Think about it, these are promotions that you literally will never forget. Most of my friends have them eternally etched into their brains. Now we can add Blue Aquaman Ice Cream Sundaes and Shakes to that list. It’s now in the history books for us pop culture nerds!

Purple Stuff Podcast: 1994 Thanksgiving Day Parade!

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Relinquishing my death grip on Halloween just ain’t gonna happen.  It never does. Even when the holidays start creeping up on us, I’m still bummed that WINTER IS COMING. I spend the rest of the year trying to engineer my life so it seems like it’s Halloween. That’s not to say that I don’t mildly enjoy the holidays! They deserve some love too. For example, Thanksgiving has always been a holiday that gets tossed aside by many in favor of focusing on Christmas. This is unfair and even I need to take the time to celebrate Thanksgiving and all the stuff…or stuffing that it represents. Let’s get to it.

On the latest Purple Stuff Podcast, me and Matt from Dinosaur Dracula are providing a feast for the ears. Join us as we go back to 1994 and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and discuss all the most notable moments from it. From Richard Simmons tossing his cookies to the Superstars of the WWF, this parade has a little bit of everything and much of it is totally whacked out. Enjoy the show and we hope it’s a nice appetizer for your big Thanksgiving dinner!

*We’ve also started a Patreon page for The Purple Stuff Podcast. If you would like to support the show please click this link to read all about it! We’re interested in creating an exclusive episode just for our most avid listeners! Check it out if you would like to be in on it. Thank you reading and listening!

Purple Stuff Podcast: Best of Halloween 2018

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Hard to believe that this Halloween season has already come and gone. Time flies is a total understatement in this case. It feels like a few weeks ago when I started hitting stores for Halloween stuff and filming the Halloween Special. Now here we are, it’s almost November. Crazy.

To me, one of the most fun things about Halloween is reminiscing about previous Halloween seasons.  We do that often on the Purple Stuff Podcast, but this time around, this season has demanded a bit of a retrospective.  Me and Matt from DinoDrac will be running through some of our favorite stuff from this Halloween season. At first, the season didn’t seem like it would yield much of a bounty, but it was surprisingly massive.

With so much to discuss, we had to narrow it down so we wouldn’t be recording for 3.5 hours.  Some topics included in this episode are movies, animated plush toys, old Toys R Us sites, and green bun burgers. Check it out wherever you like to listen to podcasts!

Thanks to all of you who are reading this. Much appreciation for the tweets, shares, and comments whether for The Sexy Armpit Halloween Special and The Purple Stuff Podcast. It’s awesome to have you on board and stay tuned for more podcasts and videos really soon! I hope you have a kickass Halloween!

PURPLE STUFF PODCAST: HALLOWEEN 2018! 

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I see A LOT of horror movies. Whether I see them in the theater, buy them on DVD (I will never let go) or Netflix, iTunes, wherever, I’m always taking in a new horror movie or revisiting ones I’ve seen a billion times. That being said, out of those times, it’s mega rare that any of them are considered a massive event of horror culture. Halloween 2018 is an epic event for horror fans and being able to live through it is exciting. If you can’t wait to finish this post and just want to hear our thoughts on the movie NOW, then click the link above and listen to the latest Purple Stuff Podcast where me and Matt give our opinion on the film. You can also subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts! Please leave us a positive review if you dig the show and share on social media!

Michael Myers and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis!) are back on the big screen and it warrants a huge homecoming party. The party isn’t all about streamers and punch, this includes blog posts, podcasts, youtube reviews, and basically the entire Internet coming together to be here for it. Halloween 2018 strives to not only be a great horror film but also a strong film period. In the simplest sense, it’s what I loved about it. Naturally, as with almost all films nowadays, there are detractors, but on a whole, the film seems to be receiving a ton of praise from horror freaks like us and the mainstream casual moviegoers alike. Being a part of this moment in time is like breathing rare air and it’s not lost on me at all.

I knew from the get go that this Halloween season’s main attraction would be seeing Halloween. From the cover of Fangoria and the Mondo magazine special to the Trick or Treat Studios mask, to the new Carpenter score – this is what it’s all about. Perhaps, some may not fathom just how big of a deal Halloween 2018 is. Even if you weren’t into the film and just aren’t on board, it’s imperative that we commemorate such an important occasion. This is a proper installment of the Halloween franchise which is not only good for the franchise itself and the horror movie genre, but it will also likely give a kick in the pants to some of our other old friends like Freddy and Jason. In the next few years if we can all reunite with Michael, Jason, and Freddy, we’ll all be really happy campers.

The guy who started it all is the one who has come back to stir it up again, and he hasn’t skipped a beat. A big thank you to the team who made the film for giving me the chance to experience Michael Myers the way he was intended to be once again.

THE SEXY ARMPIT HALLOWEEN SPECIAL 2018!!!

Behold the Halloween Special 2018. I hope you enjoy it. I want to tell you more about it, but producing this one has got me mentally and physically drained. Please give it a watch and spread It around! Consider it my Halloween treat to you. I appreciate you watching and supporting it. I hope you all have a Happy Halloween! Soak up the season as much as humanly possible. I’ll be back soon!

PURPLE STUFF PODCAST: MICHAEL MYERS MISHMASH!

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We’re back with a new Purple Stuff Podcast for your Halloween season. This episode couldn’t be more appropriate. At least from my view, the one thing I’m laser focused on this season is the new Halloween movie. It’s not every year we get to experience an event like this. Witnessing the return to form of one of the most famous horror icons of all time, Michael Myers, deserves a commemorative podcast devoted to  this momentous occasion.

Previously on the Purple Stuff Podcast, in terms of horror, we’ve covered the franchises of Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. We’ve been waiting for the right time to talk about the Halloween Franchise and considering that the new Halloween film hits theaters in October, now is the perfect time for this.

In this episode, you’ll hear Matt and I discuss the most random Halloween stuff. You can hear deep dives into the films and commentaries on each movie anywhere, so we are bringing you the things that linger around in the “Halloween Franchise” section of our brains. Yes, we do have that section up there and now you will have direct access to hearing about it. We’ll discuss everything from the insanely disturbing mask scene from Halloween III to absolutely whacked out posters and weird decorations inspired by the films. Some of the entries aren’t even from the actual films, but wouldn’t exist without Michael Myers or the Halloween movies. If you’re a fan of the Halloween films, this show is a must listen.

We’re super excited to see the new installment so hopefully our new episode will get you juiced up for the movie also. Let is inspire you to pull out your favorite installments of the franchise and maybe watch it with the commentary this time! Dig a little deeper to absorb all the weird inconsequential details that potentially change the way you think about certain aspects of these films. That’s certainly something I do often since I’ve seen these films hundreds of times throughout my life. Most horror films I grew up watching would be rentals and it always felt like such a big event to take one home, regardless of the fact that I saw them all already. That’s one of the most fun things about this time of year. You can re-experience things you’ve seen or heard a thousand times, but they still feel new, yet nostalgic at the same time.

If you have any memories or favorite aspects of the Halloween franchise that you would like to share here, please leave a comment below! Thanks for reading and listening. You can hear this one on iTunes, Podbean, and Stitcher. Sharing the show on social media is the best way to help support the show. Tell your like minded friends about The Purple Stuff Podcast so they can join in on all the nonsense with us as well!

Purple Stuff Podcast: Spooky Songs 2018!

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I’d be lying if I said The Purple Stuff Podcast has been on an exotic summer vacation. Truth is, we’ve been simply gearing up for the BIG season, you know, the only season that matters! That’s right, believe it or not, Halloween time is here and I’ve got shivers up and down my spine at the mere thought of it all. Haunted attractions, pumpkin spice everything (yes I am a fan), horror movies on loop, hoodies, and of course, the soundtrack to it all: SPOOKY SONGS! Dino Drac and I have teamed up once again to bring you a collection of tunes that you can slide right into your Fall and Halloween playlists. This episode is available right now from iTunes, Stitcher, and Podbean etc. Check it out and subscribe to the show if you haven’t already.

You’ll hear some absolute treasures in this episode that you may not have known even existed. There’s a metal injected TV theme song, a satirical sequel to a classic, and even a track based off an old toy line. In the end, they’re all excellent choices to incorporate into your Halloween playlist this year. We had a blast with this episode so we hope you will to! If you have any spooky musical suggestions for us, leave them below in the comments! Thanks for reading and listening!