How To Have A Sexy Armpit Style Christmas

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The Christmas celebration is just beginning up in here. December is in full effect and it really crept up on me quickly. If you celebrate Hanukkah, I hope you have been enjoying it! I’ve had my Christmas tree up for the past few weeks because I wanted to maximize my holiday enjoyment. Now is the time to really soak up the holiday fun, so I’ve compiled a short list of tips on how to have a Sexy Armpit style Christmas. And remember to stop by all month long for a lot more Christmasy crap! Now, here’s a list of things you can do to have a Sexy Armpit style Christmas.

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7. ORNAMENTS
Everyone seems to have pop culture ornaments on their trees nowadays. It’s become a huge business too. Some of these limited edition Hallmark ornaments go for big bucks on eBay. If you have any of these cool ornaments you’ve probably noticed that they seem to have become heavier as well. Clearly the ornament makers aren’t abiding by the weight limit anymore. Many of them need to be attached to two branches which is complete idiocy if you ask me. Any ornament that either bends a branch after you hang it, or needs to have some intricately designed support system, can suck it. I have a bunch of these pop culture ornaments, but I also have my fair share of ornaments I hung onto from my childhood. Take this Elf on the Shelf phenomenon. They really ripped off generic Elf ornaments from the ’70s and early ’80s. Look at this Elf on my tree pictured above. He’s so damn old, but I keep him because it reminds me of Christmases from years ago. The Elf on the Shelf people need to admit that the overall look and design of their character is definitely reminiscent of these kitschy elves I grew up with.

6. HOLIDAY FATIGUES
When I was a kid basking in the toy section of Alexander’s in Menlo Park Mall with my Dad, I used to see all the Star Wars figures that I wanted and I wondered what the hell did “fatigues” mean? Luke Skywalker in Bespin Fatigues. As a little Sexy Armpiteer, I had no clue what in the world it meant. Even sounding it out just made matters worse. FAT-IG-YOUS. Actually, to the 3 year old me, FAT-IG-YOUS translated to what we now know as WTF. Now that I’m older I realized that I have my own type of fatigues. In contrast to my regular getup, which is usually comprised of a t-shirt, sunglasses, jeans, hoodie, and a leather jacket of some type, as you can see above, I just modify the colors for the holidays. If I was a Star Wars figure, these would be my Holiday Fatigues. Add in some red or green and you too can have your own holiday fatigues.

A lot of people are wearing the ugly Christmas sweater gimmick, but I’ve just never been a fan of wearing sweaters. But you have to go with what you like, what you’re comfortable in, and what you look good in. Do you only like to wear Terry Cloth? Because anything red and green terry cloth will work. Keep in mind, it’s probably not a good idea to be taking fashion tips from a guy known in online circles as The Sexy Armpit. In my case, it’s a red t-shirt, red bandanna, and for some reason, a black jacket that I bought because I saw Jason Statham wear it in the first Expendables movie. HIGH FASHION! Then in addition to whatever ensemble you choose, why not throw in Santa hat or those fun headband with reindeer antlers? You might feel like an idiot, but who cares. Would I ever wear antlers? F*ck no. A Santa hat, YES. Unfortunately, I can never wear that specific Santa hat again since Sludgey has a habit of saturating all cloth material he comes in contact with in smelly green goo.

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5. READING IS FUNDAMENTAL
Read some holiday themed comics. I’m a sucker for comics and superhero stories with a holiday theme. Off the top of my head I have a few holiday comics that I plan on reading this season including DC Universe, Archie, and Ghostbusters. I’m looking forward to relaxing on the couch in the glow of my gaudy oversized Christmas lights and reading some comics.

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4. YOU WANT TO GET NUTS? LET’S GET NUTS! 
Lots of people get nuts because the holidays make them that way. This is a stressful season, so people who are nuts should just calm down, decompress and have some…nuts. Lots of people put out bowls filled with all kinds of mixed nuts, but who needs mixed nuts when you are really only ever looking for that one very special kind of nut. Some people put out Andies Candies, others put out peppermint bark, others opt for assorted chocolates. Whatever. I’m about to change your life. Well, not your whole life, just your holiday nut preference.

Toasted Coconut Cashews by MMMine! I tasted these during Thanksgiving and WOW they are good. Their catchphrase should be “They’ll blow your MMMind!” If you like toasted coconut bits and cashews, this is an out of this world concoction for you. This takes the act of snacking on some nuts to a whole other level. If these nuts were an appetizer at a fancy restaurant they’d be the jumbo coconut crunchy shrimp. Affordable and satisfying. I say affordable because they’re available at Costco, but that still means they were probably $14. Although I have no grounds for saying that because they were a gift to me. Thanks to Miss Sexy Armpit’s mom for getting them for me!

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3. BIGGEST F*CKING SMORE YOU’VE EVER SEEN 
Russell Stover is at their usual shenanigans again. I’m sure this giant s’more in festive packaging is part of their seasonal offerings every year, but I don’t pay attention. I only noticed it at Kmart because it was f*cking HUGE. I would never intentionally buy something this big since it would take me 3 1/2 years to finish it. I ripped a sample off and it was certainly delicious, but I found the marshmallow to be overly sticky like no other marshmallow has ever been. It was to the point that I felt like I was Clark Griswold with sap all over my hands, or The Sexy Armpit with liquid cement all over my hands. Naturally it’s impossible to replicate an actual marshmallow that you just toasted over a fire in your friends backyard. It’s obviously not as authentic. If you’re a s’mores fanatic you’re obviously better off making them yourself, but if you err on the lazy side when it comes to food preparation, these are great and one package could probably feed a party of 49 people.

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2. BEVERAGES
You’re going to need to wash down the smores and the nuts with some liquid refreshments. Considering Egg Nog is virtually all fat and cholesterol, why not just load up on sugar drinks? I recommend a swank Tiki Punch by the classiest of carbonated beverages, Shasta. If only I had red and green drink umbrellas we’d be all set. This stuff tastes like Fruit Punch soda with a kick of Pineapple soda. Most fruit punches and fruit punch sodas have a hint of pineapple already, but this seems to taste like it has a little bit extra, which is where they get off referring to it as “Tiki.” Will this enhance your Christmas celebration at all? Absolutely not. Unless your wasted. Hell, I don’t even drink soda on a regular basis, but this stuff is reddish-pink so it’s perfectly acceptable for a holiday party. What I failed to mention is that a 4-pack of these only cost a buck at Big Lots.

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1. SHOTS
Tequila? Red Licorice Vodka? Everclear? Pour whatever you like, but preferably into these kickass ceramic Toxic Wasted shot glasses buy Big Mouth Toys. I picked them up on Amazon for under $10 bucks. These fit right in at Sexy Armpit Headquarters since it matches our vibe. Matter of fact, I like them so much that I was fine getting stuck with the yellow one the last time I did a shot with Dinosaur Dracula. FULLER GO EASY ON THE PEPPERMINT SCHNAPPS!

Top 30 Christmas Songs Chosen From My Holiday Playlist

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Blame Dinosaur Dracula for this whopper of a post. He created a holiday monster over here by listing his top 5 Christmas songs over at his Tumblr Mummy Shark and I immediately thought it would be cool if I continued that meme, although there was no way humanly possible that I could pick just 5 songs. That’s ludicrous considering the following introduction to the list of my Top 30 Christmas Songs is over a thousand words, so there was no way I could possibly cheat you out of the other 25 songs.

Just like during Halloween season, music is a crucial aspect of creating the proper atmosphere of my holiday season. Currently, I’m in the middle of a soft launch of my diverse and hefty holiday playlist. This week, I’ve been sprinkling in a Christmas songs into my regular playlists, with a full-on Christmas music bonanza most likely hitting the speakers tomorrow.

From mid-November until the very last bit of Christmas Day, I only listen to Christmas tunes. Yeah, I take it seriously. There’s never been a Christmas when it was any different either. My father started this tradition in our family once cassettes became standard in the household. He would record all of our favorite Christmas songs off the radio, essentially making mix tapes for us to listen to the entire holiday season. We had about 5 or 6 tapes chock full of awesome Christmas music. Once we got a more advanced stereo system we even started to “dub” (No, not dub-step kids. At one time dubbing referred to copying or recording) Christmas record albums (younger kids only semi-know what these are) onto cassettes.

My parents had an extensive record collection. A decent chunk of the collection included some pretty awesome Christmas records that provided me with an endless amount of musical discovery when I was really young. I remember going through stacks of records and finding a bunch of different Christmas compilations that my parents got through gas station promotions. For some reason gas stations used to give you full kitchen silverware sets, glassware, and LPs. It was a peculiar, yet f*cking amazing time in America. I guess gas was a tough sell back then? Now all you need to do is announce that there’s a gas shortage and there’s a line of cars 3 1/2 miles long down Route 9.

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And, no…”R2D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas” did not make the cut.

The moment November arrived, I hounded my parents incessantly for permission to bring the Christmas decorations inside. We used to keep all of it in the garage and being that we were one of the only families I knew who actually parked their car in the garage, it was sort of a bitch to get all the huge heavy boxes down off the shelves when there was a big brown Buick in the way. Plus, it always seemed to be very cold, not like nowadays when we’ve been getting random stretches of 65 degree weather. So, my parents took all that into consideration and they would attempt to dissuade me every time, but Christmas overcame me. My Christmas force power was too strong even for my parents who were firm when they wanted to be. As soon as they relented and gave me the exasperated “Go ahead…bring it in,” approval, I would instantly start playing Christmas records.

Christmastime was like a state of mind and a drug to me, and it still is. The excitement of the season overshadowed everything else. It was the fact that everything seemed different and better during the holidays. The music, the food, the decorations, the TV specials, the family get togethers, it was all a total blast to me. What was old became new again although this magical feeling would never work without the music.

On the wish list front, I would craft a very detailed list for Santa each year. Months prior to December, I’d cull from the jumbo catalogs that arrived in the mailbox from stores like JC Penny and Sears and very neatly copied down item numbers and descriptions – wouldn’t want those elves f*cking everything up now would we? Frankly, none of that really mattered, I just revelled in being caught up in the season. It was the one time a year when everyone seemed to honestly set aside their differences (for the most part), have a few drinks, and eat some Christmas cookies. I had so many great Christmas seasons with my family and friends and they were all set to music.

Back to those mix tapes. They lasted for years and we played them over and over again. We also started collecting the Very Special Christmas compilations when they started showing up in stores. To have those official releases were great, but Dad’s mix tapes were LEGENDARY. Songs would abruptly cut off and then pick up in the middle of another song, and then other songs would end and he’d forget to stop the tape, so for 8 years we were able to recite Casey Kasem’s post-song banter. Then there’d be songs toward the end of the tapes that were regular top 40 music so we’d go from “Last Christmas” into “Just a Gigolo” by David Lee Roth. It was quirky for sure, but we waited all year to listen to those tapes.

My Christmas music tradition was enhanced when I got my first iPod back in 2004. Christmas playlists were never the same. Gone were the mix tapes that my father made us, but they are fully reflected fully in my playlist. Essentially, this playlist is just a modern version of those old tapes.

Presently, just to give you an idea of what kind of Christmas freak I am, there’s 433 tracks in my Holiday Playlist, some are IDs with Christmas greetings from people like Kevin Smith, Alice Cooper, and others, and a few are sound clips from Christmas movies, but the majority of the tracks are songs. Keep in mind that I’m not one to rip full albums – especially Christmas albums because there’s usually a lot of filler. To clue you in, the only full album I have on my christmas playlist is Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift To You.

You can’t imagine the difficulty I had choosing these songs. What it came down to was, if I had to delete 400 some-odd songs, what are the 30 that I’d keep in the playlist? I tried to narrow it down to 10 and 20, but there were too many that I absolutely couldn’t part with. Once you get down to around the top 15 there’s a more solid rhyme and reason behind why I chose the songs in that particular order. Some are comedic, some are sentimental favorites, others are rockers, but all of them are nostalgic to me and bring to mind memories of the Christmas season. Not everyone is as anal about Christmas music as I am, so, below, I’ve shared my favorite songs with you and also my thoughts on each one.

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30. “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” by Julian Casablancas – An actual, fully produced non-ironic song based off the SNL sketch with Horatio Sanz, Tracey Morgan, Chris Kattan, and Jimmy Fallon. Just the idea of it made me happy inside. I’m an SNL fanatic so this is great. Julian definitely put his own spin on it and it worked.

29. “Silent Night” by Aqua Teen Hunger Force – Not only is it a Jersey thing, but Aqua Teen is also hysterical, especially Meatwad. I love Meatwad. I wish he could be my real life meat-friend. I love his voice and his laid back nature. I also really love when he starts telling everyone how he’s “the Boss of music” in this version of “Silent Night” from Have Yourself a Meaty Little Christmas, the Aqua Teen Christmas album.

28. 12 Days of Christmas by Bob and Doug McKenzie – A staple for me every Christmas since it came out. I’m not really a big fan of any version of the 12 Days of Christmas because they’re usually pretty monotonous, but this song is never unfunny to me. It’s Canadian humor went completely over my head when I was a kid. I didn’t grasp it at all when this was all over the radio. I just knew they kept talking about beer and thinking tuques, which I thought was funny. Bob and Doug’s interaction set to the sounds of the ’80s keyboard always warms my heart. Hoser.

27. “Christmas Is All Around” by Billy Mack – Romantic Comedies are no friend of mine. I try my best to watch one with Miss Sexy Armpit every couple of years. I give it my best shot, but I usually wind up despising every second of it. One that I did appreciate was 2003’s Love Actually. It’s a good movie for the ladies and it’s more than tolerable for guys as well (i.e. there’s boobs). Plus Bill Nighy sings “Christmas Is All Around,” which gave him a “Do Not Pass Go – Go Directly To My iPod” card.

26. “This Christmas” by Christina Aguilera – This is the one time a year I will listen to a Christina Aguilera song. Aguilera’s cover of the Donny Hathaway song is an excellent update to the 1970 holiday classic and still gets a lot of airplay 13 years later.

25. “Best Part of Christmas” by American Angel If there’s a cult classic status for Christmas songs, this one is in the top 5 for sure. This Jersey band had some decent buzz on MTV in the late ’80s/early ’90s, but was predominantly know for their huge local fan base. You may not have realized it, but their first Christmas song is solid. It’s a bit schmaltzy, but probably the best Christmas song to come out of the 80s rock scene. Think Survivor meets Honeymoon Suite.

24. “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” by The Whirling Dervishes Another New Jersey band with a kickass rock rendition of the Grinch theme. If you don’t have it, get it, you’ll love it.

23. “Christmas All Over Again” by Butch Walker Not much of a detour from the orignal, but this is a bang up job covering Tom Petty. If you are a Butch fan you will love this. Very fun and upbeat.

22. “Christmas Tree” by Lady Gaga – Coming off her fantastic performance on SNL and awaiting her holiday special with the Muppets, fill the void with her electro-pop Christmas romp full of double entendres the way only Gaga can do it.

21. “Silver Bells” by Twisted Sister – There was a trend several years ago where a lot of the popular metal and hard rock bands of the 80s began to record their own Christmas songs and albums. Twisted Sister was at the forefront of this trend. Their A Twisted Christmas album was well done, often tongue in cheek, and actually worked since Dee Snider and Co. didn’t make it a joke, they made a legitimately good rock Christmas album.

20. “I Wanna Rock You Hard This Chrismas” by The Dan Band – You may remember this band singing an expletive filled version of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” in the movie Old School. They continued their legacy with an original Christmas rock song filled with F-bombs and sexual innuendos.

19. “Jingle Bell Rock” by 38 Special  – There’s a story about this one. When I was in my first year of college I was driving to class in my old Corsica and the stereo reception was extremely fuzzy that day. I was tuned into New York’s Classic Rock Station Q104.3 and I was making out little snippets of a rocking version of “Jingle Bell Rock.” With all the fuzz and the noise from the highway I couldn’t make it out well at all, but a small part of me thought that David Lee Roth was covering “Jingle Bell Rock.” If that was the case, it was imperative that I verify it. Why didn’t I know about this already? This began a several year quest to figure out what song this was. I called 3 DJs at the station about this. I researched their playlists, I scoured the Internet (which was not as advanced back then obviously) and I couldn’t find it. I searched every rock band’s discogrpahy that I thought it might be, but to no avail. Finally a couple of years ago, I was looking at a Christmas album on iTunes from a band who didn’t even enter my mind as a possibility back then. It was 38 Special. Definitely not anything like David Lee Roth, but with all the interference on the station I cut myself some slack. It is a really good rocking rendition of the song and I dig it eve though I still wish it was DLR. This mystery lasted almost 10 years, finally the case is closed.

18. “Rockin’ Christmas Time” by 40 Foot Ringo – You may know this band as a modern offshoot of the New Jersey band Trixter. This bouncy rocker just conjures up all kinds of awesome memories for me. The original Trixter lineup has been promoting their latest album Tattoos and Misery for the last year – check it out, it’s good stuff.

17. “We Need a Little Christmas” by New Christy Minstrels – This specific version was featured on an old album my parents got from a gas station. It’s upbeat with their signature folk sound and it gives me that nostalgic feeling. It was always the first song I kicked the season off with.

16. “Things I Want” by Sum 41 and Tenacious D – In this song there’s a ridiculous Christmas list that comes off almost like a bunch of weird ransom demands. “A Motley Crue Lunch Box filled with sticky buns.”

15. “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams I refuse to acknowledge that Scott Weiland recorded a cover of this. This is the Jaws of Christmas songs because it’s such a damn classic that it shouldn’t be remade.

14. “Back Door Santa” by Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi saturated this popular Christmas song with their ’80s pop metal sheen replete with silly banter, synthesizers, and guitar solos. This was when the band was having fun before it became a weird corporation run by an egomaniac with more interest in politics than rock and roll.

13. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Dean Martin – The kind of music to get snowed in to. And toasted.

12. “White Christmas” by Darlene Love – Possibly the ultimate Christmas song from the greatest Christmas album of all time, A Christmas Gift To You From Phil Spector. It’s pretty damn perfect from the arrangement to Darlene Love’s vocal performance. Many people prefer “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), but if I had to choose, I’d go with “White Christmas” in the end.

11. “Winter Wonderland” by Johnny Mathis Another case of not being able to choose just one, I love mostly all of Johnny Mathis’ Christmas songs but this one is the most memorable to me thanks to it’s superb production quality and the songs ability to literally make me feel like I’m sledding in the middle of Hoth.

10. “Oi to the World” by No Doubt An energetic cover of the Vandals’ Christmas song.

9. “Christmas Vacation” by Mavis Staples – In the vein of ’70s R&B that she was known for with The Staple Singers, this theme song to one of my favorite Christmas movies ever was an instant part of my annual celebration. It accompanies the fun animated intro sequence to Christmas Vacation. Originally, before I was able to find a good copy of it, I started playing my Christmas Vacation VHS tape and held my boom box next to the TV speakers and recorded the song while the movie was playing. I used that for a few years before I was able to get it on a real cassette.

8. “Merry Christmas Darling” by The Carpenters – The Carpenters can do no wrong. Karen’s voice was soothing and calm and brings to mind sitting by my Uncle’s fireplace on Christmas eve, staring at the tree and the stockings, wondering what Santa would bring me in the morning. Plus the line “Christmasing with you” FTW.

7. “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses – Belive it or not I grew up hating this song while my sister loved it. I would beg her to stop singing it. It didn’t take long for me to realize I actually adored it too and I was in denial. Originally it seemed kind of annoying, but I just looked past it. Sure it’s goofy, but it gets stuck in your head. It’s so familar now that it’s a holiday classic that you hear in tons of movies and commercials.

6. “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney – For some reason this song gets a lot of flack. First of all leave Paul alone. This song is an ’80s Christmas classic, in fact, there was a huge blast of Christmas songs in the ’80s that wound up becoming perennial favorites and this is one of them in all of it’s synth glory. Watching him perform it on SNL last year was awesome too. While listening to this track it’s tradition that I get a small paper cup of spiked egg nog and march around the apartment like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from the intro to Real Ghostbusters.

5. “Christmas Celebration” by Weezer – I’ve been a fan of Weezer since they debuted, and to the opposition of many fellow loyal Weezer fans, I actually still really dig their modern output, maybe even more than “classic” Weezer if you can fathom that. They recorded a couple of early Christmas tracks, but years later, around 2008, they released an EP on iTunes called Christmas with Weezer. I love all of their renditions of Christmas songs because they maintain the traditional arrangements but plug in electric guitars and incorporate their signature harmonies.

4. “Christmas In Hollis” by Run DMC – I lost count how many times I’ve rapped along to every word of this song. Using a sample of “Back Door Santa,” Run DMC concocted the greatest rap/hip-hop Christmas song of all time. I can never get enough of this one.

3. “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” by BRUCE Springsteen This song makes you feel like you’re down on the boardwalk in Asbury on a cold December day and you’re being introspective like Bruce would be…thinking of whether you’re going to be on Santa’s naughty or nice list. It’s a pure Jersey Christmas song and it’s a synonymous with the Christmas season for me.

2. “Last Christmas” by WHAM – Haters gonna hate, Sexy Armpit gonna love. Agree to disagree.

1. “All Alone on Christmas” by Darlene Love – Wall of Sound. CHECK. E-Street Band. CHECK. Recaptures the Phil Spector magic. CHECK. Tugs at your heartstrings. CHECK. Sax solo by THE BIG MAN. CHECK. References to her own song “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” CHECK. Nobody ought to be all alone on Christmas. Tell ’em Darlene.

A Jersey Christmas Review

PhotobucketRemember those family gatherings when someone at the dinner table would caution everyone not to discuss politics and religion? Well the 2008 film A Jersey Christmas obviously didn’t heed that warning because its abundant racial and moral commentary spoils this festivus for the rest of us.

My intention is always to give credit to indie filmmakers, not to needlessly rip them like some a-hole critics who know nothing about films anyway. Making an actual film that doesn’t look like it was slapped together accidentally by a 3 year old on his parents iPhone is a huge undertaking, and even if the movie sucks, most young directors and cast deserve an A for effort at the very least. If I was only judging it on effort, A Jersey Christmas would receive and A+ with a possible induction to the National Honor Society. Unfortunately, it boils down to one question for me: Will I ever want to watch it again? The answer is no, although, if some tweaks were made I’d make it part of my annual Christmas viewing tradition.

Clerks influence on indie filmmakers based in New Jersey is apparent since the story centers around a group of Christmas store employees. Kevin Smith would have a field day writing a film about this place because it’s way more diverse than the local Quick Stop. Coincidentally, mostly all of The Xmas-O-Rama employees don’t celebrate Christmas because of their various religious backgrounds. There’s a Jewish guy, a reformed Jewish girl, an Indian girl, an Arab, and a former Christian gay male who graduated from Rutgers with a masters in American Literature because he “likes to read.” The gist of the story focuses on how Christmas is viewed in the eyes of non-Christian twentysomethings. The group discovers that even though they express jealousy and frustration about the holiday, they are all brought together by the Christmas spirit.

As described on IMDB, “degenerate gambler” Mike Malcolm (James Villemaire) is in deep debt (or shit as we say here in Jersey) and owes a couple of thugs a lot of money. He runs a Christmas store to try to recoup some cash to pay his debts, but winds up screwing his employees out of several weeks pay. The action takes place on Christmas Eve when he demands that the store stay open until midnight to intercept last minute shoppers. Malcolm escapes to a poker game to try to win back some of his losses while the diverse crew at the Christmas store works late and hashes out their differences in religion, thoughts on Christmas, and even share some romantic moments.

I guess I was expecting something with a little more wacky hijinks. Often, the film teetered on the verge of being fun, but never officially made the jump. Sadly, the dialogue is so dumbed down and the characters refer to being Jewish and Arabic excessively. A Jersey Christmas would’ve benefited from making the racial/religious differences a minor theme instead of the main attraction. Regardless of these flaws, the cast is surprisingly natural and talented for a bunch of predominantly unknown actors. Anitha Gandhi and James Villemaire’s performances resonated with me.

Villemaire, who seems to be attempting to channel a young Mickey Rourke or Bruce Willis in this film, also co-directs with Eric Weber. Weber wrote the film, but I think it should’ve stayed on paper rather than been brought to life as a movie. This is the type of film that could be shown in college classes studying religious or racial tolerance; not so much the light hearted Christmas movie based in Jersey that I was hoping for. Ultimately, there really aren’t any similarities to Kevin Smith’s Clerks, but there should’ve been. I for one wouldn’t mind seeing a Christmas styled knockoff of Clerks. In that case the racial and religious references would be welcome. Snoogans.

What keeps me from ripping A Jersey Christmas is the fact that the film isn’t necessarily funny, but it’s not heart wrenching or dramatic either. Being middle of the road is it’s best attribute, since it would’ve totally lost my attention if it got bogged down in too much drama. This is one film you should only sink your time into if you just dig indie movies, or you have a serious obsession for all things Jersey like The Sexy Armpit does.

Since the production company, Tenafly Films, is named after a city in New Jersey, they not only filmed  on location in Bergen County, NJ but they also infused plenty of Jersey shout-outs into the movie. Among others there were mentions of Garden State Plaza Mall, Kearny, Hackensack, and the Elmwood Park Diner.

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New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments 62: Christmas Evil

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I hope you’re not planning on asking Santa for a lifetime subscription to Penthouse magazine or you’re in for it. Released the same year as To All a Good Night, Christmas Evil is the true classic of Christmas horror films. If Psycho and Halloween are looked at as pioneering films in the genre, Christmas Evil holds the same honor when it comes to Christmas horror movies. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Silent Night, Deadly Night, but the majority of Christmas Evil was actually filmed right here in New Jersey. Originally released as You Better Watch Out and also known as Terror in Toyland, this largely overlooked horror movie offers dark humor and a creepy, yet yuletide atmosphere.

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Can you dig it? Santa traded in his sleigh for a custom van!

It’s a familiar story, one that has been copied numerous times after the release of both Christmas Evil and To All a Good Night. At the time in 1980, these two films just seemed like cheap throwaway horror film gimmicks, but to many horror film buffs they are classics now.

You can read about Christmas Evil all over the Internet, but the basic gist of it is that on Christmas 1947 little Harry loses his shit and starts cutting himself after witnessing Santa Claus getting naughty with his mother. When Harry realizes it was his father under the Santa suit he grows up wanting to be like the Santa he thought existed. Fast forward to his adult years, Harry has become straight up obsessed with Christmas and becoming Santa. He even keeps a book of all the good and bad kids around town. Dressed as Santa, Harry begins to go on a rampage around town to right all the wrongs he’s witnessed in various ways. The difference about this film and other Santa slashers is that Harry is actually playing a moral judge, he’s just not going around hacking up everyone in his path.

In the horror sub genre of Christmas or Holiday horror films, there aren’t too many that are worth revisiting. Christmas Evil is the type of perennial classic that you can go back to in the same way you re-watch A Christmas Story and How The Grinch Stole Christmas every holiday season. Every time I watch it I wonder why it hasn’t been labelled the quintessential Christmas horror movie yet. Is Silent Night Deadly Night better? I don’t think it is and neither do my fellow bloggers:

“It’s one of my favorite film endings of all time, the absolute perfect end cap to what is a madly magical film.” – Freddy in Space

“…the pedigree of most holiday-themed slasher movies isn’t very high, but Christmas Evil is pretty exceptional.” As perfectly summed up at Marcus’ Movie Life

And while I disagree with his Silent Night Deadly Night sentiment, I tend to agree with Charles Tatum’s Review overall which states that “Christmas Evil belongs just below Gremlins and Black Christmas and well above Elves and the moronic Silent Night Deadly Night when it comes to the unique Christmas horror genre.”

After a little girl says to him “Santa, your shirt’s dirty,” Harry replies “There’s a…a lot of pollution between here and the North Pole.” That sure is true, and although it’s never claimed outright in the film, the story itself takes place in suburban New Jersey. At least from my countless viewings over the years, aside from a couple of glimpses of NJ license plates, Christmas Evil doesn’t mention the state except for thanking Montclair and Glen Ridge in the closing credits.

Also check out Christmas Evil at one of our favorite horror blogs, Kindertrauma!

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 73: Shamrocking New Jersey

St. Patrick's Day T-Shirts 1
Charcoal New Jersey Shamrock T-Shirt available at Cafe Press 
I Shamrock New Jersey! Tee available at Fresh Tease

Can’t decide what to wear for St. Patrick’s Day? Is your Leprechaun costume still getting dry cleaned? Look no further than our T-Shirt selections to wear on St. Patrick’s Day this year.

Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day all get accused of being too commercialized, but what about St.Patrick’s Day? It’s just another reason to sell green decorations and candy and plaster everything with shamrocks. Instead of just wearing St.Paddy’s themed t-shirts, the wearing of the green has been blown completely out of proportion since people also spray their hair and skin green as well.

St. Patrick’s Day is getting out of hand. If any holiday deserves to be even more commercialized than it already is it’s Halloween, the most fun time of the year for kids and adults alike. St. Patrick’s day is supposed to be a religious celebration yet it’s become mostly about going out and getting trashed. This may be fun for those of legal drinking age, but what about the kids? At least there’s the Shamrock Shakes at McDonald’s because without those St. Patrick’s Day sucks for kids.

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Hoboken Shamrock T-Shirt available at Solid Threads
I (Shamrock) Love New Jersey available at Skreened

Since the beginning of the month, all over New Jersey there have been St.Patrick’s Day parades rolling through main streets of towns. The earliest St. Patrick’s day parade in New Jersey took place in Morristown in 1780, and since then, the whole thing has snowballed from there. The celebration is now a month long event rather than just one weekend. In case you miss a parade in one town, you can go to another town’s parade the next weekend.

All right, so maybe I’m a humbug, but all St. Patrick’s Day seems to be about is getting shitfaced in bars from green beer. The parades create tons of traffic, and the excessive drinking makes people puke green behind every corner. There’s also cops everywhere you turn looking to hand out tickets for public intoxication with their “zero tolerance” policy. Instead of getting caught up in all that, maybe I’ll pick up some mint chocolate chip ice cream, turn on Weezer’s Green Album and have a Sexy Armpit style St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Hopefully I’ll get a visit from my green friends, The Great Gazoo, Slimer, and Sludgey, The Sexy Armpit mascot.

How The Grinch Stole New 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
on 1/7/11

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Starland Ballroom Food Drive ’09

This release was taken from the Starland Ballroom Newsletter:

The Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services (M.C.F.O.O.D.S) is in desperate need of food donations, and Starland fans are asked to lend a hand by bringing a canned food item to any Starland show in November and December. And we’re not looking for decade old Sloppy Joe mix either: The present economic woes are affecting those in need harder than ever. Please help us help others this holiday season and bring a can to your next Starland show. For more info on how you can help M.C.F.O.O.D.S visit their official website: www.mciauth.com/mcfoods.htm

For more information on food donation centers throughout New Jersey, visit the Food Bank of New Jersey website: www.njfoodbank.org

Check out StarlandBallroom.com for their concert listing.

Easter Candy Explosion! A Pictorial

Wal-Mart is more satanic than Hell could ever be. In fact, even in this time of economic despair, I was on a hunt for some cool little trinkets to throw in my niece and nephew’s Easter baskets. Wal-Mart is a slimeball salesman, hair greased back, with a shit eatin’ grin. Walking through the aisles of Wal-Mart is like stopping by a garage sale that you had no idea was even going on. I don’t need anything at that garage sale but for some God awful reason I walk away from it with a handful of junk I didn’t need or even knew I wanted. What was intended to be a quick trip to the store for Easter candy turned into a rapid free fall into a hellish vacuum of consumerism. 

When it comes to buying things I don’t need, I wouldn’t feel as bad to buy…oh, say…a back issue of a comic book line. If I finally come across an old back issue of Teen Titans that’s eluded me for years, I would snatch that book up in milliseconds. If the object fills a certain void or purpose then I have no problem justifying the item as a “must have.” On the other hand, what you are about to see are items that no man with hair on his chest could ever justify actually shelling out money for. After nearly $150 bucks it was completely out of hand.
One question though…
What would you do if you saw these 3 crazy/wacky flavors of Whoppers staring you down? I was immediately paralyzed with an obsession to make these mine. I knew they would taste like shit, but for some reason, all I could picture was me in an empty Wal-Mart laughing and giggling as I submerged in 650,000,000 pastel colored whopper malt balls. These suckers were pouring out at me through the roof, from the laundry detergent aisle, and from the creepy end of the store where they keep hoses and Christmas trees all year round.

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Keep in mind folks that there wasn’t even an iota of a fraction of a chance that these would be any good at all. I was walking into a disaster and I knew it. A dog crap flambe would probably taste nicer than the disgustingly sweet Vanilla Whopper. Pepto Bismol may as well release an orange cream flavor since they could just rip the recipe right off of the Orange Cream Whopper carton. These Whoppers should feature a “Missing” ad on the side of the carton: “MISSING: ORIGINAL WHOPPERS THAT ACTUALLY TASTE GOOD…YOU KNOW THE ONES…THE ONES THAT BURN THE SKIN OFF THE INSIDE OF YOUR MOUTH IF YOU SUCK ON THEM BALLS FOR TOO LONG.” 
And the Blueberry, what an astonishing fucking joke they are. Imagine for a second that original Whoppers were artificially inseminated by the sperm of a pastel Easter bunny. Their offspring would be Blueberry Whoppers, and let’s just say Grandpa Whoppery isn’t too pleased with his gay grandson. He’s always off dancing at the Blue Oyster and talking about how he wants to get into a civil union with another Blue “Bear” Whopper. With a clear mind I can hereby declare that Blueberry Whoppers are THEEEE worst variety in the Whopper Malt Ball candy line. It has nothing to do with them being gay either. Hell, our former governor was a Blueberry Whopper.

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This green marshmallow mess was staring me down from the shelf because it knew that I just love to torture the shit out of these stupid holiday marshmallows. This poor guy didn’t stand a chance. As far as I’m concerned I gave him a nice makeover. I tore his big, dumb ears off with my ferocious, Sabretooth-esque teeth. Off with his silly bow tie! In a matter of seconds, Baby Binks was middle aged, balding, bow tie-less, and stressed out.

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Russell Stover is taking the whole Marshmallow Rabbit to another level. Next thing you know they’ll be coating actual rabbits with milk chocolate. In a way, I’m glad because at least this chocolate mess actually looks like a rabbit unlike some of it’s predecessors. Of course, that would be in a Donnie Darko, demonic, talisman looking rabbit sorta way.

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I decided to turn him upside down just for fun. For the life of me, I couldn’t put my finger on who he reminded me of. Until…DING…DING!!! It came at me like a fatal blow from a ‘roided up Russian…

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Happy Easter everyone! Heed my warning: It wasn’t the fruit that was forbidden, it was all the unnecessary crap that fills the shelves at your local Wal-Mart.

Buried Treasure? X Marks the Spot in New Jersey

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“You sound just as corny as Dad does…”
– Brandon Walsh, The Goonies

I grew up watching my father’s favorite classic pirate movies with him, and in turn I would show him my favorite movie ever, The Goonies. Chunk only had old Hanukkah decorations in his attic. Mikey had a shitload of cool pirate stuff that was intended to make it’s way into an Astoria museum. My attic was filled with my sister’s old dolls and a bunch of other household junk that had been banished to the black hole by my mom. If it was up to my Dad, it would have all went straight into the trash. Even though we didn’t have historical stuff from the pirate days, my Dad did bestow upon me something that always made me think he dreamed of going on a Goonie adventure of his own someday. One weekend he brought me to his room and opened the doors of his chest of drawers, lifted up a stack of sweaters and shirts, and pulled out a folded, burnt up paper that was hidden underneath:

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My Dad handed me the paper and told me it was “a real treasure map!” If I was any more excited my eyeballs would’ve fallen right out of their sockets like Ragetti’s in Pirates of the Caribbean. I unfolded the old map, careful not to tear the delicate artifact. The map was titled “Treasure Map,” (awesomely appropriate).

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The map outlined possible sites where pirates may have buried their treasure, or their ships sunk along the east coast. Luckily for him, my dad didn’t try to convince me that Captain Kidd or Blackbeard sealed this map in one of the walls of our house because the copyright is 1965. I was a little kid, but damn was I perceptive.

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My father and I were able to continue enjoying the pirate genre beginning in 2003 thanks to the release of the Pirates of the Caribbean. I saw POTC more than 5 times in the theater and it gave me the same feeling of wonder that opening this map did. It’s amazing that my father got this map as a souvenir on vacation nearly 40 years before we went to the theater to see POTC together. Perhaps he held onto it because it gave him that adventurous feeling that we all have when we’re young. He kept it to hand down to me, and I’ve had it ever since. In essence, I don’t have to go searching because the map is “good enough” treasure for me.
Is your life is in need of some adventure? Maybe this map will assist in your hunt. Here’s a closer look at possible sites where treasure is buried in New Jersey:

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On your quest, try to avoid any run-ins with the Fratellis, and don’t tell mom you’re going because I have a date with Andy on Friday, limp lungs!