A long time ago on a blog in cyberspace, Chunky B. of Eclectorama sent his Spock action figure off on a journey around the United States. Chunky called Spock’s trip SPOCKATION and many of his readers signed up to be his host when he reached their state. It’s been nearly 2 years and I figured Spock was never going to reach New Jersey, but a few weeks back…FINALLY SPOCK CAME TO THE SEXY ARMPIT! Spock, myself and Miss Sexy Armpit had a grand old time as we showed him many of the pop culture spots around The Garden State. There were so many more places I could’ve brought him but I was only supposed to have him for a week and I exceeded that limit by more than a few weeks! Spock’s trip is detailed in a commemorative comic book that I created for him so he always remembers The Sexy Armpit! You can read the comic book above in the reader or go to Eclectorama and read it there! Thanks to Chunky B for letting Spock stay with us here in New Jersey!
People always ask me “Jay, when are you making more Sexy Armpit T-Shirts?” It’s not like T-Shirts grow on trees people! A lot of work goes into creating a decent looking t-shirt and I’m no graphic designer by any means. Luckily, with sites like Cafe Press, Zazzle, and Red Bubble, it’s possible for anyone to create their own tees. A few years back, I whipped up the first ever batch of Sexy Armpit t-shirts through Custom Ink. Although they were fairly reasonable, creating the t-shirt through them wasn’t the easiest process.
Custom Ink charged extra for how many different ink colors a shirt has. This is how they soak you. It also forces people into taking necessary colors out of their graphic, therefore creating a crappy low budget looking t-shirt. I had to compromise the integrity of my graphic because I couldn’t afford to print up shirts with the logo as is. Custom Ink’s customer service group was excellent and they offer discounts if you order in bulk as well as if you agree to have their website printed on the back of your t-shirt in an average size font. But because of all these issues I decided to go elsewhere this time around.
I figured it was about time to at least have t-shirts available if someone wanted one. As you all know, I’m a t-shirt fiend and always have been, so I would actually wear a t-shirt with my own blogs logo. I created this new t-shirt through Red Bubble and I can honestly say that this tee has improved in every way possible. The logo is bigger and clearer with more accurate colors and you can also choose from any different color you want. Besides a regular tee and a v-neck, there’s also the option of ordering a girl’s baby tee style, a long sleeve t-shirt, as well as a hoodie.
Several years back, I gave out the first round of Sexy Armpit t-shirts away for free, solely as promotional items. The problem with that is, custom t-shirts are really damn expensive! I can’t afford to buy a bunch of these shirts so I tried to keep the prices low by taking almost half of what the average markup is. This translates to me not making much back on each tee. I wish these shirts could be a lot more reasonable because then more people would be apt to buy one, but above all, it is indeed a cool looking t-shirt. Not only fans and friends of this blog will like wearing it, but also fans of The Garden State and all things Jersey.
The Christmas season has officially kicked off and The Sexy Armpit’s iPod has been cranking out the holiday tunes, but there’s one song that I forgot to put on there! “Mr. Grinch,” a 1995 alt-rock cover version by The Whirling Dervishes who hailed from Westfield, NJ.
The Whirling Dervishes got some airplay on MTV and they were were pretty big in the local Jersey rock scene in the ’80s and ’90s. Members of the band went on to form Everlounge, who frequently plays original rocking lounge music in bars and clubs around The Garden State. Whether you’re a New Jersey native or not, their version of “Mr. Grinch” is a must add to your Holiday playlist.
Everlounge will be playing at:
The Stage House
Scotch Plains, NJ
Dallas spent 13 years on the air and in its 14 seasons, New Jersey was mentioned only once. Regardless of being mostly Jersey-less, it’s still one of my favorite TV shows of all time. One NJ namedropping seems like one too many since The Garden State is probably the furthest thing from the wheelin’ and dealin’ of a Texas oil company. In Season 13, Sasha Mitchell (Cody on Step by Step, Kickboxer sequels, and Slammed) joined the cast as James Beaumont, J.R’s illegitimate son. In this scene he reveals a bit of his past to J.R’s assisstant, Sly Lovegren, just after applying suntan lotion on her back.
JAMES: “I was kicked out of 3 different schools in 3 different countries.”
*Just in case you want to model your kid after James Beaumont from Dallas, two of the most popular military schools in New Jersey are The U.S Military Academy Prep School at Fort Monmouth aka West Point Prep, and Cedar Bridge Military Academy in Toms River, NJ.
Believe it or not, I’ve been trying to track down a picture of this awesome billboard for a long time, but to no avail, until now. A few years back while on a train ride to New York City, I saw the same billboard as pictured above in Newark and thought it was one of the coolest beer ads ever. Corona ads have always taken a different approach from other beer brands. I praise Corona’s ad campaigns for making abundantly clear that they are a different breed than your average brew. This is cerveza. Sure, it’s easy to sell beer to frat boys. Bud, Miller Lite and Coors Light ads, all seem to say “I’m a masculine guy who loves sports and sexy women who love sports, now let’s get wasted!” Listen up, I’m not giving Corona props just because they were brazen enough to feature the Garden State in one of their ads, but they actually do present themselves in a more sophisticated light.
From the Associated Press:
NJ Tops List in Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes
PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey had more anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2008 than any other state. The ADL says there were 238 incidents reported in the Garden State compared to 247 in 2007. California was second with 226 incidents reported and New York was third with 207. ADL regional director Etzion Neuer says the number of reports in New Jersey could be inflated compared to others because New Jersey has a large Jewish population. Information from: The Record of Bergen County, www.northjersey.com
Carlin is at his best as he details ironic and sometimes bizarre aspects of American culture:
“This is a place where gun store owners are given a list of stolen credit cards, but not a list of criminals and maniacs! And now they’re thinking about banning toy guns, and they’re gonna KEEP the fuckin’ REAL ones!“
Later on in the show, Carlin deals with some of the most appropriate topics for a show in NJ, such as traffic and driving:
“…New Jersey deserves the title “Toll Booth Capitol” of the United States of America.”
“…you can’t back out of your driveway in New Jersey without some schmuck in a hat wants 50 cents! And i don’t mind payin’ tolls, but every 27 feet? Bullshit!“
“…so I say let ’em be honest, let ’em put it right on the license plates, New Jersey: The Tollbooth State. What does it say now? The Garden State, haha, sure, if you’re growing smokestacks…YES.”
“I like New Jersey…I even have one of those t-shirts you guys sell, “Kiss Her Where It Smells Take Her to New Jersey”…so I like the place…”
Carlin also offers some helpful tips and hints on improving your life:
“how to get rid of counterfeit money: put it in the collection plate at church. See how often the simple solution will elude us?“
“…someone asks you what time it is, say, well it’s either 6:15 or Mickey has a hard on.”
Keeping with the driving and traffic topic, signs and stickers on cars get Carlin fired up. He also offers a few suggestions on how to deal with a cop when you get pulled over.
In his review of the comedy album, JT Griffith of AllMusic.com had this to say: “The main weakness of What Am I Doing in New Jersey is that it doesn’t have any choice takes on the “Garden State” at all. What a missed opportunity. Overall, a light and entertaining comedy album, but not a groundbreaking or challenging one. ” I concur with JT. I would’ve liked to hear more of Carlin roasting New Jersey, but at the time, in ’88, making fun of NJ guido’s wasn’t as popular of a trend as it is now. Perhaps riffing on Joe Piscopo or Pork Roll sandwiches didn’t entice Carlin very much either and I think this HBO special was better off for it. Regardless of it’s shortcomings, What am I Doing in New Jersey is another quite entertaining entry in Carlin’s extensive discography. It’s available on CD and DVD.
** Built in 1931, The Park Theater Performing Arts Center features the the longest running passion play in the United States which details Christ’s last days. It’s now in it’s 94th season. Judging by their website, it looks like there aren’t many big names performing there anymore.