Purple Stuff Podcast: Christmas Traditions!

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Ready or not, the holidays are here. To say that I am ill-prepared is an understatement. In the plus column though, a new episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast is on deck and all set to be fired up. Whether you are baking cookies, cleaning the house, or getting some last minute shopping done, whatever you find yourself doing you can make this episode your accompaniment since it’s Christmas cheer for your ears.

In this episode,  me and Matt explore various Christmas customs that we’ve taken part in through the years. We talk about foods we look forward to each year, stuff we watch, and in my case, a special recurring piece of clothing. Nothing beats reminiscing during the holidays over a cup of egg nog (It’s good, it’s good.) At first, I didn’t realize that I had so many little traditions until I really sat and thought about it. It turns out that I have quite a few and at least 3 or 4 didn’t even make the cut! Do you have any Christmas traditions that you find yourself doing every Christmas season?

If you are here reading this, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for reading, listening, and watching my various endeavors. It means a lot to me that you take the time and show your interest here. My blog began to become a ghost town the past couple of years but as indicated in the pretty recent past, I am easing back into things. Who knows what 2019 will bring in terms of unexpected events, but either way I am still keeping this trash heap alive mark my words!

Chances are this may be the last post of the year (If I have time, I might post something quick) so I hope you enjoy the holidays and get to spend them with your loved ones. As much as I prefer my solo solitude, being with my friends and family during Christmas time is what it’s all about. There’s literally no other thing I’d rather do during this season than just hang out with the important VIP people in my life. I’m very grateful and appreciative of all of you! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Now go listen to that new episode ya’ filthy animals!

If you would like to support The Purple Stuff Podcast on Patreon you can receive a special monthly bonus episode we record especially for the “Patróns.”

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!

Purple Stuff Podcast: Christmas Songs III

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

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

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

Purple Stuff Podcast: Home Alone!

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On the NEW episode of the Purple Stuff Podcast, Matt and I talk about HOME ALONE! It’s one of our favorite holiday movies from our youth and we each bring a mixed bag of stuff to pore over. It’s a celebration of the film so if you love it as much as we do, this is for you!

A VERY SAMMI CURRISTMAS!

It’s Christmas time and someone left a mystery present under my tree. If you want to know more…WATCH THE VIDEO!

Whenever I put together videos, they always seem to hit me at the absolute last minute. That’s what happened with the latest installment of The Sexy Armpit show. A total surprise Christmas gift arrived and it was imperative for me to document it with a video. There’s like a 99.7% chance that it’s about Sammi Curr, so you guessed it, it’s all about Rock’s Chosen Warrior, Sammi Curr!

It’s called, A VERY SAMMI CURRISTMAS, because you know how I love word play. In the video, Sludgey and I spotlight my Trick or Treat collection, discuss what we want for Christmas, and there’s even an interview with Art Director and friend, Tyler Ham. We had fun throwing this episode together and we hope it brings you some holiday cheer, even if it arrived at the eleventh hour. Give it a watch and let us know if you dug it by giving us a thumbs up. Thanks for stopping by The Sexy Armpit!

Also a big thanks to Tyler Ham whose exploits you can check out at TylerHam.com

We wish you a very Merry Curristmas!

Purple Stuff Podcast Episode 36: Christmas Songs II

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Matt and I are back with a festive Purple Stuff Podcast episode for you.

Currently, I’d imagine you’re immersed in holiday shopping, getting stuck in copious amounts of traffic, and getting tanked on some kind of Christmasy concoction. As I write this, I’m super behind with my own holiday celebration. My tree is up, but it’s still not trimmed. I’ve only watched Christmas Vacation and Scrooged so far, but I have a pile of Christmas DVDs that I still want to get to before December ends. I’m also hoping my mom or Miss Sexy Armpit makes me my favorite Christmas cookies. Beyond those traditions, the one thing I never fail to keep up with is my Holiday playlist.

Since I have a long commute for work, I get to enjoy the giant Holiday playlist that I’ve created over the years in my iPhone. Listening to these songs everyday through the end of November and all of December made it easy for me to bring some more playlist ideas to you in the latest edition of The Purple Stuff Podcast.

This is our 2nd Christmas songs podcast. If you haven’t heard our previous one, it’s episode 17 in our feed. I know some people are not big fans of Christmas music, but it’s incredibly nostalgic for the both of us and it remains a big part of our seasonal celebrations. So, in this episode, Matt and I offer up some Christmas song suggestions for you. These tracks range from traditional to obscure, but they’re all worth a few minutes of discussion. Whether it’s Whitney Houston or The Whirling Dervishes, we’re delivering an hour of audio cheer.

If you’re not already subscribed, it would be awesome if you did! If you like listening to us, one of the easiest way to support us is to leave us a positive review on iTunes! Thanks for listening and we hope you have an awesome holiday season!

Christmas 2015

This year it seemed like Christmas didn’t pack the wallop that the immense holiday usually does. Collectively, many of my friends on social media have confessed to not being into the holiday spirit this year. At least for me, it’s hard to come close to the highs of our Halloween celebration, but, just because it was an off year doesn’t mean we can’t at least wing it! I still listened to Christmas tunes all month long, ate several indulgent meals, and got a bunch of cool gifts. Since you probably don’t need to hear about my ingestion of 14 pounds of eggplant parmigiana and the scraps from my mother’s ridiculously good rainbow cookies, I’ll tell you all about some of the kickass stuff that magically appeared under my Christmas tree this year. Continue reading Christmas 2015

Purple Stuff Podcast Episode 17: Killer Christmas Tunes!

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Has it been as much of a challenge for you to get into the Christmas spirit this year as it has been for me? Personally, I hadn’t been feeling very festive this season, but I did have a few surges of Christmas cheer so far this month. You may have already read about our trip to Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Great Adventure, but the other night my heart may have grew three sizes when Matt and I recorded our latest Christmas episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast! We couldn’t go the whole month of December without doing a Christmas special. If you’ve already been immersed in multiple viewings of Christmas Vacation, submerged in spiked egg nog, and dragging ass to stores shopping for gifts, then it’s obvious you don’t need a lot of coercion getting into the Christmas spirit, but you’ll enjoy this nonetheless!

Episode 17 features us discussing some of our favorite Christmas tunes. Since music is one of the big things that conjures up memories and helps to create the ambiance in everyday life during the holidays, we’re hoping this podcast can be a companion to your lead up to the big day. Holiday music in general is a very divisive genre, but it’s something that, as many of you know, Matt and I are heavily into. We had fun with the Halloween music episodes we recorded this year, and the same goes for this one. In fact, we’re going to send the podcast file to the North Pole so Santa can listen to it through his earbuds while dropping off gifts around the Tri-State Area.

If you’ve already seen The Force Awakens and you’re at home this evening looking to relax, let us invade your speakers for a short exploration of old Christmas songs. You’re all set if you’re home smells like a Christmas tree and you have a plate full of sugar cookies on your coffee table. The only thing better would be if you broke out your red footed pajamas. Come to think of it, I may have to run out to the store right now and get some egg nog of my own to enjoy.

Some of our picks may not be crowd pleasers, but these are the ones that are some highlights from our personal playlists. We can probably do 7 more episodes just on this subject, but we had to rein it in to keep within a reasonable time frame. It’s not a surprise that we concentrated on the late ’70s and ’80s era, but there were so many good Christmas songs to come out then! If you happen to have some favorite Christmas songs of your own, let us know in the comments! I am always adding to my playlist, so the more obscure the suggestion, the better!

Thank you for listening and reading and Happy Holidays!

Holiday In The Park, I Think It Was The Fourth of December

Does it get any geekier than parodying an early ’70s soft rock hit from the band Chicago to use as a title for a blog post? I think not. The 4th may not have been the specific date we visited Six Flags Great Adventure for their Holiday in the Park extravaganza, but I kept singing “Holiday in the Park” as if it were a real Chicago song that night. At first, the thought of going to an amusement park in December sounds preposterous, falling short of maybe only the Polar Bear Plunge, where clearly crazy people VOLUNTARILY choose to dive into the ocean, which happens to be filled with ridiculously freezing cold water. Fortunately, on the night that we headed to Jackson, NJ, it was unseasonably mild…but raining. On our drive down, the weather was indeed “frightful,” and I told Miss Sexy Armpit that we were nuts for even thinking of riding roller coasters in the rain. Wait, hold up, note to self, remember to write a mid-80s style, smooth R&B song called “Riding Roller Coasters in the Rain” because that title f*cking rocks. Anyway, we justified it as such: “But they have Christmas lights!!” so we wooden-soldiered on.

To my knowledge, Great Adventure has never done a Holiday celebration, and if they did, it was never anywhere close to this extreme scale. It all felt like Six Flags on Candy Cane flavored Crack. It was like Great Adventure submitted themselves to compete in The Great Christmas Light Flight. Once we arrived and heard the Christmas tunes echoing into the parking lot and saw the soft glow of the festive lights pouring into the misty night sky, it was obvious this was the Christmas version of Fright Fest and we were in for a real treat.

Upon entering the park we were immediately transported into the North Pole with snow machines blowing snow everywhere! Talk about eye candy, every inch of the entire park was decked out in Christmas decor. The attention to detail was incredible, it felt like every tree had lights and every window had animatronic elves preparing gifts. It was a sight to behold. Miss Sexy Armpit even said she liked it better than Fright Fest. For me, as a G.A regular since 1985, it felt much different than anything they’ve done before. The park transformed into its own little Christmas island.

As we made our way through the park, I kept thinking how my Christmas spirit this year wasn’t anywhere near the levels it had been in the past. I couldn’t pinpoint why that’s been the case, but experiencing Holiday in the Park was like a shot of Christmas spirit right in the heart. With the Christmas tunes playing and visitor’s of the park in a more laid back, jolly mood, it was just what I needed. It actually felt like more of an escape from reality than any other time I’ve been to Great Adventure.

The rain and drizzle was intermittent, but it was actually exactly what we needed to be able to hop on all the rides with almost no lines. Turns out that most people don’t like to go on rides in the rain. What a shocker. The longest we waited to get on a ride was about 10 or 15 minutes, which was great. Miss Sexy Armpit and I hit a couple of our favorites including, Nitro and Superman. We even took a ride on the indoor Skull Mountain, which is tame compared to the other insane thrill rides they have there, but it’s still old school, simple fun. The closest comparison to it would be Space Mountain in Disney, although it’s always been a few steps behind. Looking back since it opened, the ride had the potential to be amazing. Consider this: it could’ve been a Goonies ride! Even if they couldn’t secure rights to the Goonies, they could’ve easily picked a licensed property that would’ve worked, or even created their own original generic pirate or ghost theme. The story and the characters associated with the rides always enhance the ride experience for me. They should’ve also incorporated spooky music into the ride as well. But, here’s why I won’t complain this time around: For Holiday in the Park, Skull Mountain transformed into Poinsettia Peak and it was completely draped in red Christmas lights. The whole rocky facade of the ride was bathed in red, like Tootsie’s dress, so all was forgiven. Good old Skull Mountain has never looked this glamorous….or RED!

After the rides I had my imperative browsing session in the Justice League store. This place is a MUST every time I go to Great Adventure. With wall to wall DC Super Hero stuff, it’s the closest thing I’ll get to the old WB store in the mall. I want to buy everything. Hint: check out the video above to see the cool, customized white Christmas tree adorned with all kinds of DC characters! I didn’t buy anything this time around, but I was sure tempted. I’m just glad this store is still open and as awesome as it ever was.

Aside from the obvious Christmas theme, there was an element to the whole experience that made it stand out. The fact that we were riding coasters in December, the temp was in the mid ’50s, and the foggy night sky had an ominous, purple hue, made those high points on the coasters feel fifty times more awesome than usual. In addition to the coasters which are predominantly a warm weather pastime, we also partook in G.A’s Boardwalk games to briefly recapture that summer magic. For a minute I’d thought I hit the jackpot since that tricky milk can toss game with the softballs was chock full of Star Wars: Force Awakens stuff. Kylo Ren plush toys gave Miss Sexy Armpit a reason to blow copious amounts of money to try to win one for me. What a girl! She bought us both chances and we both failed miserably, but we had fun so that’s what matters, right? Come to think of it, maybe we would’ve nabbed Kylo Ren if we actually completed our Jedi training on Dagobah.

To ease the pain of our simultaneous double loss, there were holiday themed treats for sale everywhere. For example, Hot Chocolate with Snowman Peeps was served and sipped at several of the fire pit stations. Yes, you read that correctly, they had fire pits set up strategically by the food and snack kiosks which was a hit. People with mittens holding hot drinks were hanging out by fires as if they were at some super expensive ski lodge. Carollers sang holiday songs while flashy Christmas tree light shows burned green cones into my retinas. That was all good, but what’s a holiday celebration without the big man himself? That’s right, Santa Claus appears to hear all the kiddies tell him they want hover-boards, and so does Mrs. Claus with her special story time show. They covered all bases except Mrs. Claus’ late night lingerie striptease – that, for some reason, was not on the docket.

With trees wearing Candy Cane disguises, holiday photo-op stations erected (they affectionately nicknamed them Mistletoe Moments for all you lovers out there), and reindeer crooning Christmas songs, Six Flags did a bang up job creating a Winter Wonderland at Great Adventure. Trust me, experience Holiday in the Park if you can, but do it before it comes to an end on January 3rd! The key is to go at night once it gets dark to soak in the optimum amount of Christmas cheer. That, and the fact that “kids are scared of the dark” according to Marv from Home Alone.