Halloween Meme: Axe Me these 13 Questions

25 10 2008

Halloween is obviously the best day ever!  I can’t wait to see my three-year-old daughter running willy-nilly through our neighborhood in her cowgirl costume.  (If I’m lucky, maybe her mom will don a French Maid outfit.)  In honor of the festivities, I felt a burning desire to create a 13 question survey.  Here it is…feel free to answer it yourself if you like.  My fetching wife is doing it as well.

1.  What is the worst Halloween treat you’ve ever received while trick-or-treating?

A religious brochure addressing the evils of Halloween.  Also, homemade popcorn balls are not a good treat on this occasion.  Popcorn balls?  Seriously?  Sounds like a painful condition.

2.  What character from any horror film would you most like to play?

I’ll say Freddy Krueger because he has the best lines.  Who can forget, “I’m your boyfriend now, Nancy.”

3.  Would you rather be a zombie, alien or psycho? (Why?)

I have to choose psycho because zombies and aliens usually don’t get to carry around axes or chainsaws.

4.  How many Halloween, Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street movies do you own on dvd combined?

Seven of them combined.  Looking forward to the Friday the 13th remake re-imaging due out Friday the 13th of February, 2009.

5.  What is the scariest movie you have ever seen?

I’m going with the original version of The Exorcist. Pretty disturbing…

Hmm, that cant be good.

"Hmm, that can't be good."

6.  Lamest Halloween costume you have seen?

I’m not going to count the t-shirt that says, “This is my costume.”  I think it has to be the kid in a weird green bug head thing.  (See my wife’s blog for the picture.)

7.  Favorite Halloween treat?

Full size Reese’s Cups.

8.  Friendly faced Jack-O-Lantern or scary one?

Scary one, please.

9.  Have you ever had nightmares about a scary movie character?

Yes, I have several times.  It has involved being chased through the woods by Jason Voorhees.  I think I usually get stuck in mud, too.

You didnt think you could get away, did you?

"You didn't think you could get away, did you?"

10.  Best thing about Halloween?

Hey, the trick-or-treaters running around is cute and great.  However, my answer here has to be the women dressed in risque costumes.  For the sake of clarity, I’ll include a picture example (not of the trick-or-treaters…we all know what that looks like.)

Would you walk the plank for me, matey?

"Would you walk the plank for me, matey?"

11.  Strangest Halloween custom you’ve heard about?

People stealing/hurting people’s black cats.  That’s just wrong.

12.  Person in your family who most likes Halloween (not counting yourself)?

I’m working on my daughter and trying to instill the same excitement about Halloween, but for now I’ll go with a nephew of mine.

13.  Are you superstitious?  If so, name at least one superstition of yours.

Not especially, but I guess I am somewhat.  I really prefer odd numbers to even ones.


What Does Your Music Say About You and Do You Care?

21 08 2008

An iPod/mp3 survey/meme:

This week, I posted my parody lyrics for the song I Kissed a Girl called I Kissed an Earl at the risk of making people who are humor-challenged think I had kissed a man. While I have no beef with anyone (male or female) who does want to do this, I had no intention of misleading anyone into thinking that I do.

This lead to a series of thoughts about the music we like, the many varied reasons we like the music we do, and the perceptions someone else might have about the songs we choose. I did a quick survey of my mp3 player and wondered what a first time co-worker or acquaintance riding in my car would think of me depending which song on shuffle play came up first. If one were to judge me by the music I’ve put on there, I could be thought of as cool, sappy, tough, stuck in the 80s, a metal head, a nerd, a wussy or an intellectual lover of the classics (you know, like Mozart or Def Leppard). It’s a bit daunting to realize we are all a slave to the shuffle play (unless you don’t use your shuffle) when it comes to that first musical impression. So, it’s fun music survey time. Feel free to use this, and I hope others will play along nicely (or not so nicely depending on what is warranted by a particular question).

If someone new were in your car, what song on your player would you be quickest to skip out of embarrassment: While I think I have more than one song that fits this question, I think I would be quickest to skip past Windy by The Association. It’s a terribly wussified 60s love song that really should only be played if trying to seduce a female hippy (is that hippie?). Why do I have it? The “cool” answer is to say that I have it because, as a young child, I sort of inherited an old 45 record of this song from an older sibling when they moved out of the house and left it behind (probably because they were absolutely over the song). This is partly the truth, but sadly enough, I also SORT OF like the song if I’m in one of those moods. By one of those moods, I mean a running through a breezy field with a beautiful blue sky above mood. Wow, I just read that sentence and realized I must delete that song freaking immediately.

What song or songs is/are most “atypical” on your player? This has to go to Abba’s Take a Chance on Me. (Yes, I know, based on my previous answer, you’re thinking, “That’s not atypical at all for this pansy.” But, I promise, it really is.) I put this on after the brilliant use of it in “The Office” when Andy tried to woo Angela by harmonizing to the song with a friend who was on the phone. Loreena McKennitt’s The Mummer’s Dance is a close second.

What song(s) on your player turns you on? I’m going with I Want You to Want Me by Cheap Trick, probably just because of it seeming like a good “make-out” song from the past. I think Alicia Keys sounds hot on No One as does Shakira on Whenever, Wherever (probably simply because she’s Shakira). Also, since I’m actually more a rock guy than anything else, I’ll say Gasoline by Seether (that’s not really a recommendation if you’re in more of a romantic mood, but I love the sound of the song).

If you wanted to get a member of the opposite sex in the mood, what song would you program to come on when they are in the car? Easy. Ain’t that Loving You? by Lou Rawls. Very smooth (him, not me).

What is the longest song on your player? I think it’s Blackbird by Alter Bridge. I wrote more about it here.

What do you think is the silliest song on your player? Jive Talkin’ by the Bee Gees

What did you most recently add to your player? Several Katy Perry songs

What did you most recently delete? Already covered this: Windy

What is your favorite song on your player that is from a movie? Dream Warriors by Dokken (from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3) but also a couple of the instrumental songs from the miniseries John Adams by Rob Lane and Joseph Vitarelli. The songs are patriotic in nature and in the classical style. If you’re a fan of big, sweeping cinematic music, check it out.

Is there a song on your player that is only there for someone else’s benefit? I have a few for when my wife is in the car (like Jason Mraz). Also, my three year old daughter is a huge fan of a song called Spell by Marie Digby so I’ll have to leave that on there.

What song or artist do you find yourself skipping most frequently and therefore should probably delete? I think I keep skipping Billy Idol lately.

Without cheating, start your player and list the first 10 songs that come up in random play.

Fake It – Seether

The Secret of Life – Faith Hill

Nights in White Satin – Moody Blues

The Interview – AFI

Here We Are – Breaking Benjamin

Take Me Away – Avril Lavigne

Lovin’ Every Minute of It – Loverboy

Wanted Dead or Alive – Bon Jovi

Takin’ Care of Business – Bachman Turner Overdrive

SupaSaturation – Dizzy X

Let’s hear your answers! Don’t be shy. Add a question or two to your survey!

Showing My Age: 70’s Style

24 02 2008

While I consider the 80’s an “important” decade in my formative years (and look back fondly on the music, movies, tv and styles, well SOME of the styles), I spent more of my formative years in the 70’s. My wife recently recounted her favorite 80’s memories. It has inspired me to write of the 70’s in the same manner. It is my sincere hope that this will be a cathartic experience and help me understand how I became the twisted individual that I did. Let’s delve:

I like to spend an unhealthy amount of time playing games (like Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, etc). The root of this could be traced to one of these:

This was an addictive, let’s say “educational” game in which you had to quickly memorize patterns and repeat them on the game face. Though this game might look boring to a kid used to today’s standards, any blue-blooded 70’s kid found the flashing colors mesmerizing (and possible seizure-inducing).

Which Witch? was a really cool game in which little kiddies had to make their way through haunted rooms like the “spell cell” without having their game piece turned into a mouse. I know there was a whammy ball that did something bad to you (nothing to do with the Press Your Luck Whammies on tv). I’m thinking this one would not be for parents who ban things like Harry Potter books from their kids, but I remember thinking this game was really, really cool. As far as I can tell, this game is rare and was possibly never a big seller. I’d love to hear from anyone who remembers this game.

Oh yeah, hand held electronic football. This one was a savior when you had to go to bed. It was easy to hide this thing under your blanket and keep playing. I’m pretty sure you could even turn the sound down or off. Sweet. Of course, now the simple little red blips would have modern kids calling it lame, but it was electronic heaven for me.

I also long for some of the toys of my childhood. My favorites included these:

The seat sure doesn’t look especially comfortable now, but it was good enough back then as I tore around the driveway like a speed demon. Who didn’t love turning sharply and spinning out the back tires on one of these things? I thought I was tough on this, at least until I would screw up and skin something. That inevitably ended in my crybaby self running into the house in search of Mom with big crocodile tears on my wussy face. (Hmm, I may have issues.)

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots! What better way to learn conflict resolution skills than to punch frantically until the blue robot (I was always the red one, as no really cool kid would ever choose the blue one) had his head punched off (or in this case, up). The head/neck thing made a really cool “zipping” sort of sound when you pushed it back down to reset it.)

This came with a booklet of several songs that guided you on what color (the colors shown above the keys) to play. Before long, any six-year-old could play something like “You Are My Sunshine” all day long. What parent would not enjoy that? I remember those little plastic faces as being rather vociferous.

Wiffle (or Whiffle, depending on your preference) Ball! Yes, I mercilessly pounded had friendly games with many of my younger nephews in the back yard. Dad would make us quit, sometimes, because we’d make a nasty bare spot in the back yard where home plate was. I was forever arguing about this, saying, “It’s our back yard; I’m supposed to be playing in it!” We also had to be careful not to plow through his garden so we had a special rule that if you hit into the garden, you were automatically out. It was like having one big outfielder out there. This prevented anyone from running quickly into the garden to retrieve the ball. You could slowly, carefully extract it since the hitter was already out. We also frequently dented the siding on the garage. I had no logical way to defend myself on this one when Dad got angry. The main problem with this toy? Kids in possession of hard plastic bats that somehow found other uses than playing wiffleball.

A kid can’t play all day long. Eventually, you just have to turn the television on! I remember mornings filled with cartoons like The Pink Panther, Hong Kong Phooey and my all-time favorite:

Speed of Lightning, Roar of Thunder! Fighting all who rob or plunder! Underdog! Underdog!

Underdog was the bomb. I really wanted him to beat his nemesis, Simon Bar Sinister. DRAT!

My least favorite kids’ morning show was this piece of crap:

Land of the Lost: It was cheap-looking (even by past standards), and it was just plain weird.

One can’t live by cartoons alone, and I remember really enjoying some tv shows with my mom and dad. There were the obvious ones, like Happy Days, but there were others as well:

Quincy revolved around the life of a medical examiner who had to unravel crimes through his science. Think of a much nicer House meets a much cheesier CSI. Anyone remember this one?

This game show, hosted by the very cool Bert Convy, pitted celebrity couples against each other. They would have to guess how their spouse would answer certain questions. I remember the giant headphone things half the spouses would wear so they couldn’t hear what their partners were saying. It was somewhat racy at times, at least for a little kid, and I enjoyed that whole-heartedly.

This was a classic! It seemed like the biggest money game of its time, and it was a great game. Dick Clark, of course, ruled on this show. (Check out the awesome 70’s moustache on that contestant!)

Oh yeah, The White Shadow. The coach, who was a pro basketball player forced to retire early due to injuries, goes against the advice of everyone he knows and becomes the head coach of the basketball team at a tough, poor school dealing with racial tensions. I thought Coolidge (one of the players) was the coolest. Anyone else out there miss this one?

The last tv items I’ll mention are two slogan/songs I remember from 70’s commercials. One was for Burger King: “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. Special orders don’t upset us. All we ask is that you let us have it your way!” The other was for perfume called Enjoli. The ad was trying to appeal to working super-women who were doing it all. It featured an attractive woman singing: “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never ever let you forget you’re a man, cuz I’m a woman…Enjoli!” I don’t know if this ad was successful or not with their target audience, but it seems to have had a lasting effect on a 10-year-old boy.

Let’s move from tv to music. Records were fun (until they got a nasty scratch on them). Three of my favorites were these:

Now that I’ve posted the pictures, I’m thinking all three of these were double albums, which was a nice bonus. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) I had older brothers and sisters, and I think Frampton was a “hand-me-down” that was left behind for me. I loved how Frampton would “make his guitar talk” and say, “Do you feel like we do?” ELO mixed pop/rock with string instruments. The one pictured included the popular “Turn to Stone.” I loved both the soundtrack and the movie “St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by/with the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton, among others. I thought the movie was great, back then, but I have the feeling that I would realize it sucks if I saw it now.

When I had to leave home and go to school, I packed my trusty lunch box. Anyone remember the old metal lunch boxes that would actually rust at some point? I had some dorky ones, like some generic batman-like lunch box (can’t even remember the name of the cartoon), but here’s a cool one:

Which ones did any of you have?

Now is as good a time as any to mention one of the funniest style jokes God ever played on the U.S. when He convinced people to think Leisure Suits were cool. Here is an extremely embarrassing picture of myself and my parents. Wow, my mom and I are in matching suits that she made. That’s awful.

At least I never had to wear these:

Let’s just move on. I wasn’t yet driving in the 70’s, but I remember being a little kid wishing for one of these:

I thought Chevy Monte Carlos were very cool. I never ended up with one, but later on when I could drive in the 80’s, my first used car wasn’t that far off – a 1975 Olds Cutlass Supreme, similar to this one:

Mine was red and was a not-as-cool 4-door model. It ended up getting totaled when someone else’s car got hit and knocked over the center line into me. Ah well, it was a good car while it lasted.

Who remembers the Datsun cars of the 70’s? I remember my brother had a yellow one that I think was this type:

I need to wrap this blog up before I’m tempted to include even nerdier pictures of myself. However, I have saved the best 70’s memory for last. The two best creations of the 70’s were both born in 1975. One is my gorgeous wife. The other is this guy:

This Schoolhouse Rock character was the best! See the whole video here!

Thanks for stopping by, and please share any 70’s memories you have.