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: 1994 Thanksgiving Day Parade!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

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

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

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

Purple Stuff Podcast: Best of Halloween 2018

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

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

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

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

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

PURPLE STUFF PODCAST: ICE CREAM EDITION

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

Pursuit of maintaining childlike wonder requires excitement, even for the simplest things. Submitted for your approval: ICE CREAM.

The newest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast is a big one. It’s all about some of the most outstanding ice cream and frozen treats. You need not be an expert on every single offering in your grocer’s freezer or every single Good Humor variation displayed on the side of your neighborhood ice cream truck to enjoy this one. Once you start thinking about your favorite frozen treats from throughout your life, the floodgates open. This is what happened to Matt and I in this episode. There were so many great ones that we had to try to squeeze them all in!

There’s a brain freezing treat awaiting everyone who listens to this one. Maybe you dig Italian ices? Maybe you are a soft serve type of person? Or you may be a fan of one of the more obscure ice pops that was only sold in one section of the world in 1991? No matter what, it’s pretty safe to say that everyone has a special spot for some kind of frozen treat so this one celebrates that. Memories of hot summer days chasing down the ice cream truck will rush back into your mind. Remember when you would eat a colored ice cream pop and your mouth, lips, and tongue all turned that color? Fortunate for us, the summer is almost here so we are celebrating that feeling by digging deep into our memories and telling you all about a slew of our ultimate Ice Cream entries.

In this episode we will touch on everything from shark pops to alien cakes to great balls of ice cream. It’s a creamy and delicious audio compendium of our favorite frozen treats. Please subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music or Podbean, OR you can check it out at the link above!

Purple Stuff Podcast: WrestleMania Minutiae!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!


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:

  1. 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…

Purple Stuff Podcast: GREEN EDITION

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

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!

Purple Stuff Podcast: Christmas Songs III

LISTEN HERE!

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: Creepy Q&A!

LISTEN HERE!

The Purple Stuff Podcast returns from beyond the grave! Matt from Dinosaur Dracula and I fielded your creepy questions on the show’s Twitter account @purplestuffpod and there was a resounding response! Thanks for sending them in! We had a slew of great Halloween/Horror-centric ones, but we were only able to answer a select batch of them. Hope you enjoy hearing our answers and we’d like to hear yours as well! Have a Happy Halloween and thanks for listening!

 

THE SEXY ARMPIT HALLOWEEN SPECIAL 2017

Shit is crazy, yo. That’s about the best I could come up with for an opening line.

During previous Halloween seasons, I’ve been able to ramp up the lead-up to my Halloween Specials. I loved posting a production journal on here for at least one or two of them, but it wasn’t in the cards this time. This year, even though free time is basically non-existent, I still magically whipped up a special, with the help of my friends of course! I ran into a bunch of speed bumps on the way.

A whole script basically went into the trash. I wrote this pretty epic script that, once it was too late, I realized would be entirely too much to film. Not so much about the length, but even the logistics, locations, and money. Although I love the script and it had absolutely everything in it, I came to terms with the fact that I just couldn’t pull it off so late in the game. I swore I would write the script early in the year that way it would give us extra time to film, storyboard, and even block everything out like actual filmmakers. Wrote it early I did. Threw it away late I did as well. To say I was pissed off at myself for wasting so much time and effort was an understatement. Continue reading THE SEXY ARMPIT HALLOWEEN SPECIAL 2017

Purple Stuff Podcast Minisode: Monster Golf and Pumpkin Spice Pizza!

LISTEN HERE!

The Purple Stuff Podcast brings you another Halloween minisode! In this episode we recount our failed attempt at procuring some super basic pumpkin spice pizza. Then it was onto MONSTER MINI GOLF! And that was certainly a worthy addition to our Halloween season festivities. Check it out and subscribe on iTunes! Thanks for listening!