Archive for August, 2009

Celebrating Halloween early late: Jones Soda

Posted in Uncategorized on August 28, 2009 by DJ D

You know what the best thing about Target is? You might be thinking it’s the Halloween sales. Nope. It’s the after Halloween sales. Last year, I racked up. Fifty percent off here. Seventy-five off there. I kept saying I was going to write a blog post about the haul I got, but never got round to it. Well, here we are. It’s now or never. I wait much longer, and I’ll have another haul of Halloween goodness backed up. Besides, I gotta get a jump on it before Bill gets jacked up on soda and beer in a few weeks and starts carving up stuff. So let this officially usher in DJ D’s Halloween Celebration!

Last year I snagged 3 4-packs of Jones Soda in 3 different Halloween flavors. I’ve honestly never even tasted Jones Soda before, but thanks to X-E, I’m now at least familiar with it. So, while Matt’s out hiking in the Appalachian trail or wherever the hell he is, I’m gonna do my part to bring a little darkness into all of our lives. Tis the season. So, I present to you, utilizing 3 cans of soda that have been sitting in the back of my fridge for a year, waiting for just this moment…

The Halloween Jones Soda Taste Test!

Jones

1) First up, Candy Corn!

Candy Corn

As you can see, I’m utilizing my trusty Batman glass mug. I got this sumbitch at The Heroes Con in Charlotte last year and surprisingly haven’t used it that much. I kind of save it for special occasions. And by special, I mean doing silly things to novelty sodas.

The first thing I notice here is the smell. As soon as I turn the mug up and stick my face in it to get my first taste, I’m assaulted with the smell of some INTENSE vanilla. And now the taste test…

That, ahem, tastes absolutely nothing like candy corn. And I like candy corn. This filth tastes like a combination of old vanilla flavoring and what I can only imagine is what happens when the werewolf on the can burps in your face while shoving a Werther’s Original down your throat. Funnily enough, a quick scan of the ingredients tells us that vanilla flavoring isn’t even an ingredient. Could have fooled me. This is proof that werewolves + candy corn don’t always = success. Unless this is actually some secret formula concocted in Lon Chaney’s basement that will result in me actually turning into a werewolf, I want nothing else to do with it.

Hey, speaking of werewolves, you know what I’m jazzed about? This!

Quick rant on it though. They got Rick Baker to do the sfx. Rick-An American Werewolf in London-Baker. One of the biggest sfx geniuses to ever walk this earth, and the master of werewolf effects. But what do they do? Cover a big chunk of his work up with cgi. It’s fucking sacrilege, dammit! That’s like getting Rembrandt to do a painting for you, and saying, “You know what, this is great and all, but I think it could use some Photoshop. You don’t mind, do you?” I’m not saying that cgi werewolf transformations are always bad but…no, you know what, that IS what I’m saying. With the exception of some of the stuff in the Underworld movies, I’ve yet to see one that didn’t look like a ridiculously shitty cartoon that was far inferior in realism to anything that was done in American Werewolf and The Howling, both of which came out OVER 20 YEARS AGO. I’ve been a huge gorehound since I was a kid. When I was in high school I even sent off for admission information to the Joe Blasco School of Makeup Effects in Florida. I gave some serious consideration to going into makeup effects and prosthetics as a living. I would make my own werewolf makeup and appliances for Halloween when I was a little kid and Rick Baker was one of my heroes. I’m of the school that if it can be done practically, it should. Unfortunately, shitty, low budget cgi has really hurt the art form in the last decade or so.

I’m still looking forward to it though. Of all the classic Universal monsters, werewolves have always been my favorite. I know vampires are supposed to be the coolest, but fuck that. Cool? Yes. No doubt. But scary? No way. And in my heart and house, scary trumps cool every time.

2) Next up, Spooookiwi!

Spooookiwi

First off, the color of it is actually much more green than what you’re getting in the picture. It actually looks something like a cross between Sierra Mist and antifreeze. Ok, let’s go. The smell is a LOT nicer. Really fruity. The taste…SCORE! I think we have a winner, folks! Yeah, this is good stuff. I’m sipping in between sentences here. It does taste like kiwi, but also kind of tastes like any green citrusy soda in the Sierra Mist vein. I’m digging it. Oh, btw, the name actually does have 4 “o”s in it. I wasn’t embellishing for effect there. Although, I think Frankiwi would have been better. I’ll let it slide. That candy corn crap didn’t have a fancy pun name, so I’m not asking for one here.

3) Lastly, the big finale…Buried Pomegranate!

Buried Pomegranate

Oddly, this is my favorite name of the three. Spooookiwi’s cool and all, but they put some thought into Buried Pomegranate. This shit is from the grave. In keeping with the classic Universal Monsters tradition (enforced in badass manner by The Monster Squad), Dracula is the leader of the gang here. The pic once again isn’t a good representation of the actual color of the stuff. It looks kind of brown here, but it’s actually more of a pinkish-purplish hue. I was hoping for something more along the lines of a deep blood red, but I’ll take this.

I’m particularly looking forward to this one because this will officially be my first exposure to pomegranate. Granted, it’s actually “real and artificial flavors”, but that’s good enough for me. I’ve never eaten a pomegranate, never drank a pomegranate soda (Can somebody seriously hook a brother up with some Pom 7Up? They don’t distribute it down here)…in fact this is the first time I’ve ever laid eyes on anything of the pomegranate persuasion. So, without further ado, I’m going to break my pom cherry…sort of.

Smells really nice. Really fruity. Woah! I got dizzy there! I’m not joking. That shit is strong! It actually reminds me a little of Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash, but it’s got this other kick to it, like this weird biting aftertaste. Interesting. I really want some Pom 7Up now. I can see that being great for Christmas.

So, that’s that. The verdict? Spooookiwi wins by a neck bolt. Ironic, since he’s my least favorite of these 3 monsters. Now, if there was a zombie one, that would be something. Grape From the Grave!

I’m off now to throw up 24 oz of sugar, fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors. The things I do for you people…

Advertisements

“I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, Forgive me if it goes astray…”

Posted in Uncategorized on August 23, 2009 by DJ D

There are a few things I know for sure in this life:

1. I love Prince. No matter what you do and no matter how cool I think you are, I will always think Prince is a little cooler than either one of us.

Prince

2. It actually is possible to have too much of a good thing.

That last one was proven to me a couple of days ago. Lately my sleeping patterns have been a little less than desirable. I’ve been pulling all-nighters and sleeping all day a lot the last couple of weeks but I think I’ve got it sorted out now. While I was taking one of my naps the other day I found that maybe I’ve been spending a little too much time on the internet, more specifically reading other peoples’ blogs. What happened? Well…

MY BLOGROLL IS INVADING MY DREAMS…

Now, you folks are cool and all, don’t get me wrong, but of all the things I want to dream about, random people I’ve met on the internet don’t exactly rank high on the list. I mean, you’ve got dreams of flying, there’s always Christina Ricci (swoon), I could be Batman (I’ve had that one!…oh, who am I kidding? My entire waking life is a giant Batman wish dream), and the list goes on.

But do I get any of that? Nope. I got this:

It started out with me walking in a swamp, which quickly turned into a sort of Amazon river kind of deal that I see on nature programs a lot, where the water’s all muddy and brown and you expect a crocodile to pop his head up at you any second. Suddenly I hear a roar behind me. It’s a freaking T-Rex and it’s bearing down on me. I start to haul ass but he’s a lot faster and he’s almost caught up to me. He’s getting closer and closer and I look down and suddenly there’s a 4-wheeler in front of me. I hop on it and right at the last second, just before the T-Rex is about to snatch me off of it with his big T-Rex teeth, the 4-wheeler starts up and I take off. This thing can seriously move. I leave him far behind (keep in mind, I’m actually in water at the time, but it’s only about wheel-deep), but I hear something else coming up behind me.

It’s one of these!

speeder bike

So, he starts to ram my 4-wheeler. However, somehow my battered 4-wheeler is actually faster than the speeder bike. Don’t ask me how. He starts to catch up to me, side-swiping me and ramming me from behind and knocking me all over the place, but I’m still outrunning him. I look up and suddenly I see that I’m coming up on a beach, with a giant house not too far from the shore. I gun it on the 4-wheeler and drive right up on the beach. Speeder bike guy is gone.

The house is huge, with lots of windows. The front door is wide open, so I walk inside. I hear the sound of someone talking in another room off to the right, so I make my way in there. It’s a woman and she’s sitting at a desk, talking on the phone with her back to me. She’s also doing something on a computer. I turn her chair around to see who it is. It’s The Pilver! Suddenly I realize that I’m supposed to be there. It’s like I had an appointment, but even after seeing her I still don’t quite know who she is or what I’m there to do. I think she’s Kristiane, but I’m not entirely sure. It also doesn’t help that she’s not only The Pilver…but she’s also DC! Dum, dum, duuuummm!

What?

Ok, let me explain. It’s like, you know how you just know certain things in dreams? Like, you walk into a building and even though you have no reason to know it, you just know you’re there to get your hair cut or something. Well, that’s what it was like. I instantly knew that I was supposed to be in Kristiane’s house for a specific reason, but she looked like DC. Whoever was in this chair was a weird combination of the two. It’s even stranger, because aside from one really small avatar picture that doesn’t tell you too much, I’m not even entirely sure what DC looks like. For the purposes of my dream, she had long dark hair. I didn’t get a good look at her face, because as soon as “DCistiane” turned around she said, in a sort of annoyed voice, “Just wait in the living room. I’ll be there in a minute.” I quickly whipped her chair back around so that she could face the computer, and she went back to talking on the phone.

I walked down the hall, back in the direction of the door that I came in from earlier, and made my way to the living room. Along the way I started thinking that I really needed clarification as exactly whose house I was in. So I started looking around at anything that would have a name on it. I saw a stack of mail on a table and started looking through it. I found an envelope that had the name Kristiane Clarice Eggers on it. I don’t know a great deal about Kristiane, only what I’ve read here and there, but I know for sure that her name isn’t Kristiane Clarice Eggers. Maybe Clarice comes from the fact that The Silence of the Lambs is one of my favorite movies of all time and that’s Jodi Foster’s character’s name in it. As for the Eggers part, the only thing I can think of is that about 7 or 8 years ago I kind of knew a girl named Christine Eggers. I only knew her because she was friends with one of my neighbors that I was friends with and used to come around sometimes. But I haven’t spoken to her in years, and barely even knew her then. It’s weird the things that we hang on to.

So, now that that mystery is kinda-sorta solved, I walk into the living room and find your standard issue TV, entertainment center, and clutter in the corner. Strewn all over the floor is a bunch of shoes and toys and stuff. For some reason I feel the need to straighten up, so I start organizing the shoes, just matching them up and lining them up along the wall. Just as I’m picking up a pair of light blue flip-flops, I hear, “Hey man, what are you doing?” I turn around, and in the kitchen is a guy laying on a futon. I guess he was napping. He sits up, and it’s…

Phil Lynott, lead singer of Thin Lizzy!

Phil Lynott

We have a brief conversation, but I can’t really remember what I said to him. His appearance is actually not much of a mystery. Just the night before I was watching a live Thin Lizzy show on VH1 Classic (the only decent music channel left on television), so it kind of makes sense he might show up in my dream. Although, in hindsight, the fact that I actually got to talk to Phil Lynott is pretty awesome considering he’s been dead for years and Thin Lizzy was an amazing band that never got the respect they deserved. As to why Phil seemed to be a little pissed that I was organizing flip-flops in Kristiane and/or DC’s house, well your guess is as good as mine.

It was about this time that “DCistiane”, who I still understood to be Kristiane yet still looked like DC, came walking down the hall and said something like, “Well, it looks like I’m all booked up right now. We’ll have to do this some other time.” So I said, “Alright” and left. I still don’t have the first clue what it was I was doing there in the first place, but she sure seemed to. I was just trying to find some place in which to hide from a speeder bike guy and a T-Rex. So I walked back out the door, got on my 4-wheeler and drove back into the ocean/swamp.

First off, I just want to apologize. I don’t know where this stuff comes from and I hope that no one reading this, including the ghost of Phil Lynott, thinks I’m unnaturally fixated on them. This was just too much fun to keep to myself, and I wanted to share it before I forgot it all, as often happens with out-there dreams. Don’t worry though. I’m not about to start stalking anyone. I know the idea of partying like it’s 1999 in a groovy house with Thin Lizzy on an island that’s guarded by The Galactic Empire in the middle of Jurassic Park sounds like a lot of fun, and some people may be tempted to go find it again, but that shit was scary. I’m staying away from both of you. And your flip-flops.

Different Strokes

Posted in Uncategorized on August 12, 2009 by DJ D

Just firing off a quickie. I’ve got much bigger stuff to write about, but it’s been a little bit since the last one and I just wanted to get this in there. Oh, comments to your comments have been posted on the previous post so check that out, blah, blah, dee blah…

Here’s a few things that have gone down since the last time we spoke…

Neighbors From Hell update: They’re gone! They’re gone! Thank God almighty, they’re gone! Zippity-doo! I have no idea when some new people will eventually move in, but for now, just like Depeche Mode, I’m enjoying the silence.

Critter update: You know my Omen Bird? Well, since I wrote the last post, it was perched out on the back porch every single night. I’d finish up dinner, wash up the dishes, and just like clockwork, I’d open my back door and there he’d be, perched in his spot. I grew not to fear him, but to appreciate his company…until about a week ago…the day the neighbors moved out. That was the last time I saw him. Now I’m starting to think he wasn’t there to warn me of some impending doom, but rather to protect me. Seeing the threat was gone, he left. 😦 Weirdest thing, though. The frog came back, and has been on my front porch almost every night. Did the bird become a frog? Did the frog eat the bird? The mind boggles…

Job update: No update, really. Same old same old. “Everything looks good, looks like you’ve got plenty of experience, we’ll probably call you soon, yadda, yadda yadda…”

Yeah, I’ll be homeless within the month.

So, here’s how the day went. I had an appointment earlier today, then went by my one of my favorite restaurants down the street to drop off an application. Sure, almost a year ago I was a working professional, making great money with great benefits, but one layoff and a year later, and now it’s come down to possibly waiting tables at a burger joint. Yeah, that’s where we are.

Anyway I spoke to the manager the other day when I picked up the application and he told me that when I returned it to give it to the owner and speak to him directly. Well, the owner wasn’t there, so I decided I would come back later tonight after he came in. So I went back out to the car, put the key in the ignition, turned it…and nothing. Wouldn’t start. I’m not surprised really. I’ve been having some trouble with it lately not wanting to start right away and actually planned on putting it in the shop this week or next, but hoped it didn’t come down to having it towed from somewhere. I’m pretty sure it’s something to do with the starter, because everything electric seems fine.

So I headed back in, sat at the bar, and planned on calling the mechanic I usually go to. Couldn’t find their card in my wallet (still don’t know why it wasn’t there…it’s always there–Omen Birdfrog probably got it), so I borrowed the bar’s phone book. There were a couple of grizzled old guys sitting at the bar who both rattled off the names of a few places they recommended and I ended up settling on one those because I had heard good things about it (my usual place was a little farther away and I was looking to take it some place close to home in case I had to walk to pick it up). So I made the call. Tow truck’s on its way.

While waiting, I struck up a conversation with the manager and told him why I was there in the first place. Maybe he felt sorry for me because he took my application and told me he would give it to the owner directly when he came in. He said they just lost 4 of their best people recently and were looking to hire someone and that he would do his best to hook me up. So, at least there’s that. The car was towed and I walked home.

I came in, had dinner, and proceeded to clean up a little. I opened up the back door to put something in the trash, and guess who was there, perched on the back awning. Nice to see you again, Omen Bird!

Sooo, to brighten my mood a little, and hopefully yours, I submit the following. I went to a birthday party for a friend of mine the other day. She’s obviously in the middle here, complete with princess hat, balloon hat, and Harry Potter glasses. I’m on the left.

stroking out

Somebody want to explain exactly what the hell is wrong with me here? Does having a stroke cause memory loss? Because I don’t even remember this picture being taken and it looks like I’m in the middle of stroking out.