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!
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!
It’s that time of the year again! The weather starts cutting out the below zero temps and gives us that Spring feeling of being alive again. Although the Fall is by far my favorite season, Spring is second, but not because of blooming flowers…because of booming bodyslams! That’s right, its time to celebrate the WWE’s grandest event of the year, WrestleMania! Even if the last time you watched WWE was when Stone Cold Steve Austin was still the champ, you can still hop back on board at any time. Right now is the best time because WrestleMania is always a fun time. Hardcore fans dissect every event and suck the goodness out of everything, but this is one block of 4 hours each year that I dive completely into the pro-wrestling zone and enjoy it as if I were 5 years old again. It’s actually pretty refreshing, and maybe even more-so if you are not super into the WWE world. If you aren’t jaded to all of it you may even have more of a blast than many of us critical bastards! Regardless, here are 6 tips on maximizing your WrestleMania day:
Eliminate interruptions. You may be tempted to hop on Twitter or scroll through your Instagram feed during any lulls, but trust me, it can wait. You’ll have time during the Kid Rock promo so plan the social media breaks strategically. Many bands have banned cell phones at their concerts, so take a cue from The Misfits and enjoy WrestleMania as if it was the ’80s and early ’90s when you weren’t bogged down by the damn phone. I’m sure I will get texts during the show, but unless it’s an emergency, it can wait! When The Goddess is on TV, everything else gets put on hold.
2. Drink. Doesn’t have to be liquor. If you aren’t into that, get a lot of Root Beer or Mountain Dew on ice. You will need to have an excuse to run to the bathroom if a match starts to bore you out of your smoking skull. (that’s a Stone Cold reference if you didn’t catch it!)
3. Set up a comfortable viewing area, but not too comfortable! You want the pillows and blankets, but don’t accidentally promote a sleeping environment for you and your squad. This is a mistake. There’s plenty of time for that later on. If this is your first WWE event in a while, it will feel like it’s 17 hours.
4. Food! You can actually get winded just by living vicariously through watching these super athletes do what they do best so you will need nourishment. My advice is to balance out the crap with some good healthy stuff. Sounds boring, but you’ll thank me afterward! If you’re eating nothing but garbage all day and night, by the end of the event you’ll want to bust. You’ll feel like an alien is ripping out of your stomach. It’s worthwhile to cut up some fruits and veggies and drink water here and there. You have to pace yourself between all the Doritos and buffalo wings.
5. Treat the day like it’s a holiday. For me, WrestleMania has always been a holiday. To some, The Super Bowl is the big day, but for me this is monumental. Even if it winds up sucking, there’ so much excitement and enthusiasm on this day. The memories of Mania’s past come rushing back and you can enjoy them all day long if you have the WWE Network. With all great holidays, reminiscing is a major part of them and this is no different. You might wear an ugly sweater to a Christmas party, so be sure to wear your favorite Wrestler’s t-shirt or hat. I can’t forget this one, the music! We listen to Christmas carols during Christmas and spooky music during Halloween, so get your bluetooth speaker out and stream WWE music all day long, heck, all weekend long! And since you’re going to be up late and all pumped, think about taking the next day off. They won’t kill you.
6. LISTEN TO THE NEWEST EPISODE OF THE PURPLE STUFF PODCAST! The newest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast is all about inconsequential aspects of all the WrestleManias so far. Matt from Dinosaur Dracula and I have compiled 10 pieces of minutiae that we find interesting enough to talk about for an hour. Topics include, The Undertaker’s outrageous act, A whacked out Piper’s Pit, The Mistress of the Dark, and the greatest pro wrestling entrance of all time! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Podbean, and the Google Play store! Thanks for tuning in.
Now, let’s take you down to our broadcasting team of Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura…
The Purple Stuff Podcast has gone GREEN! Matt and I compiled an entire podcast of things that are green. As always, you can check it out on your usual podcast apps or by clicking the link above. Grab some expired Ecto Cooler and a handful of jellied spearmint leaves and get ready to listen to our emerald colored antics. In this episode we deliberate about everything from seasonal McDonald’s offerings to a swig of a special beverage in The Last Jedi. There’s also a dissertation on Jay’s favorite soup and Matt’s affinity for a certain type of pie. St. Patrick’s Day may mean that you get tanked on green beer, but do it while listening to The Purple Stuff Podcast! Thanks for listening!
The latest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast is available now! Get primed for the big game by listening to Matt and I bullshit about some of our favorite Super Bowl commercials ever. In addition to the junk food, the commercials are often the highlight of watching the Super Bowl. It’s the one time that I actually watch commercials and not escape to the kitchen or head to the bathroom. The multimillion dollar ads can be sentimental, funny, and downright strange, but so many of them have been pretty epic. They better be for the price that was paid to air them! In this episode we cover everything from car commercials to a couple of incredible Diet Pepsi and Coca Cola ads as well as beer bottles and cans playing their own game of football. From there we’ve got a pertinent movie trailer and a heavenly old school AV geek store…it’s all here. I’m sure you have your own set of favorites and even most hated, but no matter what, they get us all talking about them. Dive in via your favorite Podcast app or listen at the link above. Thanks for listening!
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!
Dino Drac and I are back for another Halloween minisode! These have been a lot of fun so we bring you another installment of our aural lust for Halloween. In this episode we check out Dollar General and my old decrepit K-Mart. What we bring home may not exactly be considered “treasure” to most, but it brought us some more early signs of the season. We hope you enjoy this one! You can check it out on iTunes and Stitcher and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode! Thanks for listening and reading!
The Purple Stuff is ushering in the Halloween season in a very cool way. We’re obviously excited, and to celebrate the greatest season of the year, we’ll be releasing “minisodes” which are shorter episodes concentrating on aspects of the season that we haven’t delved into yet. Our first episode is available now. We tell the now legendary tale of what was to be a simple trip to find early Halloween stuff. We’ll certainly be doing these more often so be on the lookout! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Podbean, and basically wherever else you can find podcasts!
Have you ever fantasized about having a real badass car? I know I have. Although it wouldn’t be much fun sitting in the never ending New Jersey traffic. That’s where the Purple Stuff Podcast comes in. In our new episode, Matt and I count down some of the coolest cars in pop culture!
It may sound like an offbeat theme for us, but it’s totally not a stretch. Think about it, we all know what kind of wheels we’d like to be whizzing around town in. Realistically, we can’t really drive around in a car that looks like a dinosaur-corvette hybrid, or a 4×4 with animal paw wheels. Many people require something more practical. Our imaginations ran wild here, fully ignoring gas saving techniques, speed limits, and pedestrian safety.
It’s another nostalgia packed episode. You’ll hear about our memories of cars from our youth, and my affinity for the girlfriend of a mysterious ghost driver with a sleek indestructible car. Fun times. Buckle up, this is going to be a crazy ride! Thanks for listening!
It’s officially summertime, so let’s make the best of it. For those of us yearning for those gloomy Autumn days spent watching horror movies and crisp moonlit nights waiting on line for a really bad haunted hayride, we do have minimal opportunities to capitalize on certain scares that summer actually provides. One of the most terrifying aspects of the summer is the possibility of a shark attack if you happen to go in the ocean. I easily dodge that risk by skipping the middleman and just watch JAWS and call it a day.
Aside from the most famous onscreen appearance of a shark in history, there’s so many more instances of Sharks in pop culture. On the latest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast, Matt and I bring up all of that whacked out shark stuff! Our mutual fondness for sharks lead us to talk about their pop culture counterparts for a whole hour. As always, we’ve got some outstanding nostalgic choices as well as a few modern ones! It will fill the void as we approach the best time of the year.
We’ve been away for a bit, but we’re excited to be back! If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do so through iTunes, Stitcher, and Podbean. Please leave us some stars and tell your like-minded friends that you listen to a podcast that they will dig! We can’t thank you enough for all the amazing feedback you’ve given us…it’s truly appreciated.
*You’ll definitely be familiar with the majority of our selections , but feel free to leave us some of your shark picks in the comments that didn’t get mentioned on the show! I’m sure I’ll get threats for not mentioning King Shark, but there’s always a sequel.