Showing posts from 2016

Frightful Flashback: The Haunted House and Other Spooky Poems and Tales (But Mostly Poems)

In a dark, dark mobile home, there was a dark, dark cupboard...

And in that dark, dark cupboard, there was a dark, dark shelf...

And on that dark, dark shelf, there was a goofy, rainbow-colored record player...

And in that goofy, rainbow-colored record player, there was...


I've spilled a lot of virtual ink in my numerous online missives about scary stories, particularly Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and its twosequels. But Alvin Schwartz was not the only author to produce collections of scary stories for younger audiences, and he certainly wasn't the first. Maria Leach, for example, had been doing an excellent job laying the groundwork for macabre collections to come in her compendiums of chilling folklore like Whistle in the Graveyard. And then there's this curious little number: 1970's Scholastic release The Haunted House and Other Spooky Poems and Tales.
I was introduced to The Haunted House long before I ever read it. In fact, for years I didn't ev…

A Requiem for Cactus Jack

Sometimes, on an overcast day, when the sun's luminous silhouette struggles mightily to break through the murky clouds and the wind whispers its vague lullaby, I think of my friend and hope that, wherever he may be, he is happy...

With the recent success of the Pokémon Go mobile game-such a phenomenon that it has popularized that most base and shameful of activities: walking-the original 151 Pocket Monsters have reentered the popular consciousness with a vengeance. Because of this vengeful reentry, my thoughts of late have turned to my own personal experience with the Pokémon games of yore, and the untold tragedy of a fallen friend.
I first heard of these games through a 1996 issue of Nintendo Power, which at the time was quite fond of  dangling the carrot of Japanese games before ravenous American audiences that would never get to play them. How I longed for Secret of Mana 2 or RPG Maker to hit these shores! Pocket Monsters, while cool-looking, had the air of something we Ame…

My CD Collection: The Celebrity Wing

I have to show you something. Look:

Do you see that? That is an actual photo from within my living quarters. Some might say it represents a wall of obsolescence, a shrine to the preferred audio format of a bygone era, when physical copies of your music were a thing and mp3s took a full afternoon to download and were probably just virus traps. Others might say, "Wait...THREE different Kris Kross albums?"
Yes, I have a lot of CD's. And, like proctologists, there are some great ones, and there are some bad ones. But then there are the ones that defy such simple categorization, and are not so much good or bad as they are baffling and inexplicable. You will find few greater examples of this phenomenon than those contained within what I have dubbed the Celebrity Wing of Joey Marsilio's EXXtreme CD Collection. Gaze upon these works, ye Mighty, and despair! Or at least like scratch your head or something.

Hulk Hogan-Hulk Rules & "Macho Man" Randy Savage-Be A Man

The Art of Comedy Writing

Between my screeds about Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and my critically acclaimed novel, people sometimes forget that I am quite an accomplished comedy writer. I mean, it takes a certain level of talent to create public access television for literal years (let's not speculate on specifically what level that is). In addition to chortle-inducing articles for this blog and my hilarious off-off-Broadway musical comedy Oh, Bridget!, I once wrote a screenplay for a sitcom pilot that my father described as "kind of funny, in places." Why am I telling you all this? Well, you see, I have recently taken it upon myself to begin another intensive comedy proyecto, and I have come to realize in the course of working on it that I could get a twofer going and turn it into a lesson for you, my loyal and enraptured audience. A real master class in comedy, if you will. Allow me to explain.
Comedy, much like open heart surgery, is quite difficult. But you know what they say: split eno…

Get Cracking: A Cautionary Tale

As you may have noticed if you've been paying attention to my blog over the years, I have a, shall we say, staggered posting schedule.You may be tempted to chalk this up to laziness, but the narrative that I'm going with is that I'm not the type to just toss a few sentences about my lunch up online and call it a day. I want to make sure that every single one of my posts is fully realized and interesting, so I space them out and give each one a lot of thought. Quality over quantity, as it were. Trust me, I've made nearly $5 off my blog's ad revenue. Clearly I know what I'm doing.
This sort of thoughtfulness goes into my social media posts as well. To wit, the subject of the day: my Instagram. Or more specifically, a set of circumstances surrounding an Instagram post that taught me a valuable lesson using one of the most effective educational tools of them all: crushing disappointment.
Our story begins on a little avenue near my apartment that links a main street…

Amazing Spider-Man #347: The Comic Book that Got Me into Comic Books

I spent about a decade or so of my formative years living in a mobile home park that was, at the time, known as Mobileparks West. Not to be confused with a trailer park (despite my parents frequently referring to it as such), Mobileparks West was a community of manufactured homes in which arson was strangely rampant. We eventually had to abandon our home there when we found that the interior of the walls was largely comprised of toxic mold.
     Rather than dwell on some of the sordid elements of the park, such as time I happened upon an active crime scene containing an unfortunate gentleman who was fatally shot in the head on his front porch, let me ruminate on some positive memories from those halcyon, methy days. Specifically, a formative experience that occurred in 1991 at a magical place known as First Mart. First Mart, for those who are unaware (all of you) was a little convenience store at the mouth of the mobile home park, nestled in a tiny strip mall with a handful of o…

My Yelp Review of Popeye's: An Excerpt

I have spent the last few weeks tirelessly laboring on a thorough Yelp review for a local Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen. I feel my work is important enough that I would like to share it with my blog readers as well. However, since I know my readers are busy people, I've cut away all the fluff and excerpted the most salient material here. I apologize if some of you find this intensely disturbing.

I should have known I was in for a rough time when I pull into the Popeye's parking lot. There are no parking spots within easy walking distance except for a single space directly in front of the restaurant. Now, normally this would be ideal, but the space is clearly marked "20 Minute Parking." So great, now I'm in a race against time! Asking me to divine the future and somehow predict how long I'm going to be at Popeye's is a fool's errand, so right from the beginning I'm acutely aware of the fact that I'm going to have to rush my meal and watch the …