Saturday, September 06, 2014

Production Blog 1: Halloween Special 2014

 photo SAHSprodblog2014_zps1ebca4e8.jpg

You might be wondering how I could have the audacity to start a Halloween countdown and then not post a damn thing for a week? Trust me, there's a good reason, and it's well worth it!

Thanks for baring with me folks. We're about halfway into production of The Sexy Armpit Halloween Special 2014! This is our 3rd Halloween special and to make it even remotely entertaining (and I use that term loosely) we have to put a lot of thought and actual hard work into it. Since I've had to turn my attention away from the Halloween countdown in favor of our annual Halloween video extravaganza, I figured, why not present you some inside info about it right here on the blog?

Although I consider the content of these specials to be a complete farce, I still infuse them with the utmost care and attention to detail. Ahh yes, details...that's where Mike (@IdiotAtPlay) comes in. He's always our continuity expert. Of course, we'll still have one or two minor flubs in that department, but it's no fault of his. This is multiple levels below even a Troma level of production, so keep that in mind. A few pumpkin beers and everything's thrown out the window!

As I mentioned, we're about halfway through filming and things are going well. The second half of filming will continue later this month, and that will contain more arduous scenes in terms of dialogue, props, and "scenery." While I enjoy the process of directing and "acting," they are my least favorite part of all this.

Having gone through so many film and acting classes, it became apparent to me over the years that I gain the most enjoyment out of two facets of the filmmaking process. I have an affinity for scriptwriting, but editing is my strong suit and it's what I have the most passion for. So, I'm definitely anxious to start editing. Matter of fact, I may begin loading the footage we've already shot and dive right in to get a jump on things.

As for a premiere date, unfortunately, it's still too early to tell, but I'll be announcing one soon. Once we get the rest of the filming is complete, I'll have a better idea of when it will hit the YouTubes. It will obviously be sometime in October. Typically, I aim for early to mid-month, so stay tuned!

Monday, September 01, 2014

Halloween Countdown 2014, Halloween A-Z

Velcome to Castle Sexy Armpit! Just changing that W to a V made a world of difference, and it's those little details that have completely transformed The Sexy Armpit into a virtual house or horrors, a terrifying realm of text in tribute to our favorite time of the entire year, HALLOWEEN!


For the past several years, The Sexy Armpit has taken on Halloween motifs that were parodies of stuff like famous horror film posters, and band themes like The Misfits. We continue the tradition with the parody you see above. This header is inspired by a brochure advertising the greatest haunted attraction of all time, Castle Dracula.

Castle Dracula is legendary among those of us who frequented the Wildwood boardwalk as kids. Although it burned down so long ago, it still lives on via the Internet. It's been paid tribute many times by Matt from Dinosaur Dracula. He's also gone on record to state  that "Last year's Halloween season was one of the best ever," and I am in full agreement with him. I'm not sure if 2014 will be able to surpass 2013, especially when the actual year number was an eerie one itself. Just from a commentator's perspective, 2014 is going to have to pull off a big swerve to reach the haunted heights of last year.

So, the Halloween Countdown 2014 is on! On the horizon is our 2014 Halloween special which is categorized as "in production" as we speak.

It's all a bit overwhelming for me. My brain is absolutely flooded with ideas. What will my costume be, will I have to drive all over creation to find the limited edition crap? It's all about antici---PATION. My mind is racing with all the cool Halloween stuff, products, food gimmicks, events, attractions, costume parties, etc. We wait for it all year and then it just creeps up on us and BAM it's officially here and I feel like I can't possibly be ready. Glad this thing starts September 1st, otherwise it would be over with a snap of a monstrous finger.

There's a moat around Sexy Armpit Castle, we'll call it Crystal Lake, and we're diving right in. The lake of course, is made of Ghoul-Aid, hopefully laced with some psychedelics.

So it's here, we're living it right now. It seems like everyone else is ready, while I feel ill prepared. It's like those dreams that you show up late to class on a test day without studying for it. Well, that's me right now and I'm in that Amazing Stories episode "Go to the Head of the Class" with Professor Beanes.


Every year I typically kick off The Sexy Armpit's side of the Halloween countdown with a recap of the best posts of the previous years countdown. Since the blog is in it's 10th year, I'm going to do it a little differently this time. Although I haven't been doing the countdown for 10 years, I've still accumulated so many posts that I feel are worthy enough to present to you once again, especially since you may be new to the site. These are posts that include personal stories from life events, movies, attractions, trivia, monsters, and a homemade comic book among other things. Do a little digging and maybe you'll unearth something spine tingling.

To get A through Z, I had to do some finagling to get it to work out. You'll notice some repeats, for instance, it felt like I had 23 "H" entries and there could've been at least half of these starting with "S." And you'll also notice THAT I HAVE AN ENTRY FOR Q and Z! Hell yes.



































Sunday, August 24, 2014

Food Truckin', Comic Shoppin', and Antiquin'


After I heard about Just Jersey Fest, a gathering of food trucks coming to Randolph, NJ a couple of weeks back, I figured it might be a fun Sexy Armpit excursion. Food trucks have been enjoying a wave of popularity, especially in cities. I've really had no experience with food trucks, unless you want to count the ice cream man who I bought WWF Ice Cream bars from nearly 5 days a week for the span of 4 years in my early teens. Other than that, I've never eaten food that I purchased from a truck. I never really felt like I was missing out on anything either, but to have the option of sampling from ALL of them in one place seemed appealing to me since I don't live in an area with many food truck appearances.

I wasn't going into this one alone. I coerced friend, author, and co-star of the Sexy Armpit Show, Michael Gary Wirth aka @IdiotAtPlay, and his wife into going. We hopped in the car and headed up Route 287 on a super hot and sunny Saturday.

What started as your typical trip to eat at food trucks snowballed into an extensive trek up and down the Garden State searching for comic stores and ending with a brilliant finale: an unexpected drop-in to the most enormous and well stocked antique store of all time.


First, simply put, Just Jersey Fest was a big wide open lot that had a crazy amount of locally based food trucks parked around the perimeter. No false advertising here: there was a bunch food trucks, a DJ playing an odd array of oldies mixed with tunes you might here at The Colorado Cafe, and tons of people milling around, indecisive about what they should eat. What a perplexing situation. What altered my decision was how long the lines were at each truck. As a personal rule, I prefer not to stand in hideously long lines in the blazing hot sun. I melt very easily.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but judging by the unique and often one of a kind cuisine that many food trucks are offering nowadays, my bar was set pretty high. Judging by some of these Food Network shows, it's apparent that every food truck has to have their own special gimmick or they won't last. Since I adore gimmicks, the idea of food trucks appealed to me, and I was pretty geared up to think that we were in for some real treats. Sometimes, my positivity is my weakness, and my friends faith in me is theirs. Sounded clunky, but those shrewd enough might extrapolate the Emperor Palpatine reference buried in there. Regardless, I've been bandying around the word extrapolate like I'm 6 years old and I just started working "shit" into my diatribes about how Drake's Devil Dogs would get stuck to my teeth and the roof of my mouth.

My first mission was to tour around the lot to make sure I knew each and every option I had to choose from. After my stroll, I was convinced there was nothing enticing me. I really wanted to be lured onto a line by a delicious odor or seduced by a superbly crafted stock photo of a shellacked empanada. As always, Mike and his wife were enthusiastic about the whole ordeal and they found a couple of trucks that had selections they wanted to try.

Mike went with a Cajun truck, one that I had mentioned sounded halfway decent moments earlier, but for some reason I opted for the Colombian food truck. I regretted not going with my first instinct. Always go with your first instinct no matter how impulsive - even if your first instinct is to order the 400-piece wing platter next time you're at Hooters. Not sure if that exists, but you can ask Mandy, your waitress. Make sure she brings you extra napkins.

Lauren got sticky rice from a Thai truck, which, unbeknownst to me, is a freaking dessert! Rice for dessert? I had no clue. I've heard of rice pudding, but this thing looked like fancy dessert sushi. Sing this to the tune of Iggy Azalea's "Fancy": "I'm not fancy, I didn't even kno-ow, that stick-y rice was an actual thing you can order for a Thai food truck." See, it actually works, but you might have to jam those last 15 words together pretty fast to get it to sound right. Where there's a will, there's a way people!

You can check out more on our food truck cuisine sampling in the video above, but I will tell you a little bit about the fries. Affectionately referred to as Disco Fries, (at least here in New Jersey) they are known to the rest of the country (apparently) as New Jersey Poutine. I don't know what the F poutine is, but I think Paxton Holley likes it. Disco Fries aren't fries soaked in the sweat that has dripped onto the dance floor, nor are they possessed by the spirit of Barry F'n Gibb, but they are staples of a New Jersey diner menu. Freaking French Fries doused with gravy and melted mozzarella cheese.

We placed an order for Disco Fries at Romano's Fries Truck, a truck who has an exclusive deal with C&C Cola. Depending on where you're from you may have never heard of this soda, but it was always a reasonable alternative to the mainstream soft drinks in the grocery store. That didn't swerve my opinion on this truck though. We waited patiently for what felt like 14 years for these stupid fries. Minus the exaggeration and I think we waited nearly 30 minutes, no joke. These were fries we were waiting for mind you, not a sizzling Kobe strip steak cooked to perfection. Finally, we received the equivalent of the fries you might get at the snack bar at your nephews Little League game, but drizzled with a little bit of gravy and some cheese. Meh. Nothing beats an NJ diner for these.

The ice pops were by far my favorite selection and the only thing I gravitated to immediately. Peace. Love. POPS are all natural, handcrafted ice pops made in New Jersey. The creative flavors are so dead on balls accurate and refreshing that I am 100% recommending that you try them if you are ever in the North Jersey area. Their cart is often seen around the streets of Hoboken. The pops are little pricey, but it's worth it. Considering the care that is taken in their preparation and the fact that a good chunk of the money you pay for one goes to charity, these ice pops are well worth the purchase. Eventually the company wants to get these into a few local supermarkets and I hope they succeed! Check out their official Facebook page at this link.

A list of flavor options were detailed on their chalk board. The decision was easy for me. Without hesitation I chose Honeydew Ginger Mint because I love honeydew and mint, but F the ginger. Mike and Lauren got the Pineapple Mojito and Strawberry Lemonade. All of these were awesome. You can watch us inhale them in the video. They hit the spot on a hot, swamp-assy Saturday.

We just about had our fill with the food truck fest and we decided we still had some motivation left in the tank. "Why don't we see if there's any comic book stores around here?" Lauren said, and we concurred that it was a great idea. Sitting in the back of the Mikemobile, I started searching on my phone for the zip codes of each town we passed through to cross check them on the comic locator site. God, that might be the geekiest sentence I've written in 10 years of this blog.

In total, we stopped at 3 comic book shops, all of which I'd never been to before. Now we are entering critical territory because this damn post should really be two parts, but I wouldn't do that to you...the waiting is the hardest part so said Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. F*ck it, let the Comic Book Store Tour commence!

I am always supportive of local stores and independent business, but I've been wrapped up in Comixology since day one because I wanted in on digital comics in a bad way, mostly because of the lack of storage space in my condo. Don't get me wrong, I still own all the comics I've had since I was a kid, but I have no need for physical comics anymore. Plus, I am crazy about the guided reading style of the digital format. If you've never experienced it, try it out, I think you'll dig it.

Our first stop was literally across the street from the food truck fest. All in One Collectibles in Randolph was filled with tables with some hardcore gaming going down. The large shop was stocked with 9 million Heroclix, comics, a few toys, and a ton of sports and non-sports trading cards. I was getting antsy. Onto the next one.

Next stop: Madison, NJ, a quaint, movie-set type town where we arrived at Dewey's Comic City. The interior was nice and it was like the Barnes and Noble of comic shops, only smaller. It was neatly filled to the brim with every type of comic and graphic novel you can think of. The concentration was on new releases rather than old, but they still had a sizable collection of back issues as well as some random collectibles and t-shirts.

I think Mike saved the best for last. He hinted earlier that we should go to COMIC FORTRESS in Somerville, NJ and I was game. I always say YES to going anywhere that has Fortress in it's name (i.e Fortress of Fangs, Fortress of Steele.) This place was seriously as incredible as Mike mentioned, (read Stop #6 on his Free Comic Book Day Tour log.) Not only do they have quite a huge selection of comics stocked on the shelves, but they also have the largest inventory of DC and Marvel statues, busts, and action figure collector sets that I've ever seen in a comic/collectible shop. If it was the early '90s I'd probably be begging my Dad to bring me to this vast emporium every week after we made our stop at Steve's Comic Relief.

I'm proud of myself. As much as I was tempted, I bought nothing all day except 2 giant sized Red Bulls.

As if all the previous excitement on this day wasn't enough, I didn't think it could get any more fantastical, but, IT DID! We inadvertently extended our little adventure even more. While walking back to the car we stumbled upon the Somerville Antique store. This place pulled me in like I was in a tractor beam. With zero expectations of the enchanted land of tchotchkes, we entered. Before us was the most insanely huge antique store I've ever set foot in. Two expansive floors with nooks and crannies of non-stop antique absurdity.

If I described all of what I saw at the antique store we'd be here for another 37 paragraphs and I don't want to do that to you. It would be a violation of common decency. To see the contents of this wondrous, albeit pricey place, go watch the video! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The 10 Best Pics of Rowdy Roddy Piper and Jay From Monster Mania Con 28!



With the summer installment of Monster Mania in the history books, the countdown to Halloween is fast-approaching. Although it's a horror convention, my mind never associates it with the onset of the Halloween season. Not sure why, but when you think about it, in merely a matter of days, Dinosaur Dracula will be signaling to all that the countdown is on. Halloween is right around the corner, yet this is still a summer event, one that's ripe for escorting the sweltering season directly out the door without passing go. Good riddance to you summer, I say. Oh, I suppose you want to know more about Monster Mania? OK, I'll give you all I can remember.

Let me get this out from the get-go: we didn't get drunk with the Joker and Freddy Krueger like we did that other time, but once again, the forces of Dinosaur Dracula, Freddy in Space, and The Sexy Armpit came together and had quite an interesting time to say the least. It's a scene not for the faint of heart. You'd probably like to know all about our sordid Monster Mania tales from this time around, but we've got to keep some decorum here, plus, details are fuzzy. Put it this way, there was a lot of liquor and VHS tapes involved. And Tom Bryce's pretzels. It was a veritable Shit Pretzel Fest.


As I mentioned, it's a little foggy, but the bits of this event that I do remember include buying a Princess Bride poster AND more monumentally, meeting Rowdy Roddy Piper. With the Hot Rod in New Jersey, how could I miss the chance to meet one of my favorite WWE Legends of all time?

I think I must've gained a lifetime membership to the club. You know that club, Those Who've Met Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper Within a Matter of Days From Each Other Club. It's not the kind of braggable anecdote as say, being in the mile high club, but it's a tidbit that'll most certainly be engraved in my headstone.

While waiting on line I noticed Piper was smiling and taking his time to talk with every one of his fans. Fortunately, Matt (@DinosaurDracula) arrived, grabbed my phone and snapped over 20 photos to make damn sure we commemorated this historic meeting of the minds. It was a nearly impossible task to narrow it down, but here are the top 10 best photos of Hot Rod and I from our impromptu photo shoot. Some of the shots are different, yet so completely the same.

As they were swiping through these photos on my phone, a few of my friends and family members asked what I talked to Piper about. Seeing 20+ photos of he and I prompted one of my friends to ask "how long was he talking to you for?" No joke, it had to be at least 35 minutes. There were "BULLSHIT" chants coming from the people in line behind me. To be clear, we didn't talk wrestling, we didn't talk They Live, and we damn sure didn't talk politics. But he did offer me a recipe. It's just like good old Hot Rod, recipes are so typical of him. You can see how good he is with a blender in that episode of Legends House. Piper vs. The Blender, a feud that can only be rivaled by Hogan/Piper.


The blur was actually present in the room. It eventually dissipated, but, at first, it was like The Mist.


JAY:
"Hey Hot Rod! How exciting it is to meet you!"

HOT ROD:
"Hey, thank you man, what's your name?" 

JAY
"I'm Jay."

HOT ROD:
"Jay, I love that shirt!" 
(I'm wearing the Panther shirt that Roddy wore to the ring in the early '80s.)


JAY:
"It's classic! I'm about 6 tequilas in, so excuse me if I sound like it."

HOT ROD:
"Ohhhohoo, so you want to be a big shot don't ya?"

JAY:
"Well, not really, I just wanted to get drunk with my friends."


HOT ROD:
"Now that you mention it, you are lookin' a little bit under the weather, You know what, I know exactly what you need. It's what I used to make when I was oh, knee high to a grasshopper."


JAY:
"Specifically, what kind of concoction are you going to supply me with the recipe for, Roddy? Not that raw egg in the blender gimmick that Hulk gave Mean Gene I hope!"

(Just when he thought he had all the answers, I obviously changed the questions.) 

HOT ROD:
"Now, don't insult me kid or I'll crack your head with a coconut, trust me you'll want to listen to the information I'm about to lay out for you."

JAY:
"I'm all ears, Hot Rod."

HOT ROD:
"Do you remember once upon a time when that little meatball Rachel Ray's cooking show was a hot commodity? Well it can't touch Mixology with Rowdy Roddy!"

JAY:
"I'm confused, are you saying you're changing the name of Piper's Pit?"

HOT ROD:
"Listen up, stop your lips from yapping for one minute. If you want to be big time, you're gonna have one of these with me"

Piper proceeds to instruct me on how to concoct a Hot Roddy.

HOT ROD:
"Ever hear your grandmother talk about drinking a Hot Toddy when she was sick? Well, this is what I call a Hot Roddy."

JAY:
"I assume it can cure what ails ya...or ails me. After all the drinking and partying at Monster Mania so far, this is just what I needed. Some kind of an elixir to rejuvenate me."

HOT ROD:
"You're damn right, and remember Jay, this drink ain't FOR EVERYBODY, but if you want a banana have a banana, us, we gonna have ourselves a Hot Roddy."



HOT ROD
Oh no...

JAY:
Oh no, what?


HOT ROD:
Oh no...who is that taking our picture? Please don't tell me it's that damn motherf*ckin' Dino Drac, that sonofabitch! OK, OK, that's enough pictures, you know where you can stick those VHS tapes! This is the last picture and then get that photographer the hell out of here!


I have come here to show you at least 10 photos and kick ass, and I'm all out of photos.
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