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Showing posts from 2015

A Look Back At "Christmas Comedy Classics"

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Christmas is a time of family, traditions, family traditions, and the looming specter of insurmountable debt. And nothing shrieks "tradition" like Christmas music, which has not evolved one bit in hundreds of years, give or take. In my family, one of our annual Yuletide traditions was listening to the album Christmas Comedy Classics, or Triple C if you're of the Guy Fieri school of thought regarding abbreviations. A collection of humorous holiday favorites, this compilation got innumerable spins on our CD player, which was a new technology at the time. And to be honest, I was never sure whether or not I liked it. I found some of the songs hilarious, some of them annoying, and most of them either depending on my mood. As such, I decided it was time to take a look back at this album now that I'm a Big Mature Adult and determine once and for all whether Christmas Comedy Classics is overflowing with Christmas cheer or merely a lump of coal being pounded into your earhol…

Even More Stephen Gammell: Thanksgiving Poems

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After three Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Power Rankings articles (here, here and here), as well as another post delving into some of his more obscure horror artwork, you can probably tell that the artist Stephen Gammell has a special, terrifying place in my heart. It therefore always brings me great joy when I find Gammell's artwork lurking in the most unexpected of places. Like, say, this book of Thanksgiving poetry.

Koala not included.    When I ordered Thanksgiving Poems from Amazon, I had no idea what to expect. Which is funny, given that the title is pretty self-explanatory. This thing is, though...the poems aren't really what I'm here for. they're nice and all, but I'm far more interested in what Gammell is bringing to the Thanksgiving table. Would the book be chock full of grotesque imagery, like reanimated turkey corpses hunting for human giblets, or perhaps gravy bowls oozing bloody tendrils? Unsurprisingly, no. Actually, when you open the book y…

My Little Halloween Town Display: A Portrait in Words and Also Portraits

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It started in the early 90s, I think. While flipping through the monthly edition of the Oriental Trading Company catalog, I had spotted something I just needed to possess. You see, one of the great virtues of the Oriental Trading Company, besides sounding like an organization that would possess a fleet of merchant ships to be plundered by Jack Sparrow and his ilk, was their yearly cornucopia of Halloween merchandise. Every year in the late summer, OTC's usual inventory of cheap party favors and candy sold by the gross was joined by a plethora of goodies featuring ghosts and goblins, often in the form of cheap party favors and candy. On this particular year, though, one of their seasonal offerings stood skull and shoulder bones over the rest: a haunted village. Consisting of resin statuettes of various structures and characters, the components shared a unique and interesting tall, thin visual style, from the haunted house with a many-windowed pumpkin for a top floor to the ga…

(A Remarkable Lack of) Fear & Loathing in Japan, Part 4: The Conclusion

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Welcome to the final installment of my Tokyo vacation chronicle! For those of you just joining us, you can read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 first if you're into the whole chronology thing. Now, onward to the conclusion!


Eric and Azusa's wedding was nigh, so Sheila and I bid a fond farewell to Shinjuku and tackled our next challenge: figuring out how to get to the wedding site. The ceremony was to be located in a small town named Kawaguchiko near the foot of Mt. Fuji, a picturesque hamlet that unfortunately was not reachable by the Tokyo subway system we had so recently mastered. Thus, we spent the majority of Friday trying to ascertain specifically which train tickets to purchase that would enable us to make it to our destination. It was more than a little stressful, especially given our...less than fresh state of mind after the last few days' festivities. Fortunately, we were able to eventually meet up with the spouses-to-be at the train station and move onwards to our des…