Saturday, July 12, 2014

Some Scary Cool Purchases!

Well now that we've made it past the 4th of July, which I've long since touted as the last "big" obstacle standing in the way of the summer months and that strange invisible barrier that dictates when Halloween can officially begin.

Now that we are past that point I feel much more confident in my ability to write about how freaking excited I am for the fall season to finally arrive!

It's even unintentionally crept its way into my shopping cart. Without fully realizing it everything that I purchased the other day looks completely at home in the month of October. Let's take a closer look at this weeks spooky haul: 

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I have to start with my favorite item first, Time Life: Mysteries of the Unknown. A 93 page magazine dedicated to everything from Ouija Boards to the legend of Bigfoot. I don't think  I have ever loved a magazine more than this.

This is exactly the kind of reading material that I gravitated towards as a kid. Story time, I remember my grandparents having some really old blue book, the dusty old kind with torn up bindings and frail pages.

It was a science fiction book filled with a bunch of "what if" scenarios for what life on other planets might be like. As interesting as the text was the best part of it was the pictures.

They looked like hand drawn oil paintings that had been resized and, I dunno shrunk down to book size through the use of black magic. These pictures were flat out amazing, featuring bright colors with neon landscapes and all kinds of badass monsters.

Think Lovecraftian style artwork. This was that book. And I remember every day during summer vacation (which I spent at my grandparents) I would read through and thumb through that book. Completely amazed by the drawing and fantastical text.

None of that really has anything to do with Time Life's Mysteries of the Unknown but I can guarantee you that had I owned a magazine like this back then, I would have spent all summer long going through its pages. Taking each and every work as gospel.

If it said ghosts existed then damnit, they would be real. I love this magazine. I love the idea of this magazine. I have no idea how it got published but I am so very thankful that it did and I found it.

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Next up is some cheap novels. I am almost exclusively a Kindle user these days but every now and then I dig through those big dump bills full of stupid books nobody has ever heard of and pull out something interesting. For a combined total of five dollars I found two that I absolutely could not live without.

The Haunting of America: From the Salem Witch Trails to Harry Houdini. Pretty much has everything that I love covered. I don't know if this book is historical fiction, actual fiction, or pure bullshit. My guess is going to be a combination of all three. I am looking forward to diving headfirst into this one and plowing through its contents in a couple days.

I am not going to lie, I purchased The Monster's Corner for the cover. Even if I never read it (which is a very distinct possibility) it'll look great sitting on a shelf someplace and be worth at least looking at when the leaves finally start to change and the temperatures drop.

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Finally, this Blu-Ray full of horror films nobody has ever heard of. Four dumb horror films for only $1.00. Duh, count me in. If my math serves me correctly that is .25 cents per flick. Meaning I could have theoretically payed for this disc with leftover change from the ashtray in my car.

Films like these are basically filler material. Background noise, if you will. When I write I love to stick something on in the background and turn the volume down just low enough that it can be heard, but not high enough to be distracting.

This collection is perfect for that. Goofy, probably dumb horror films that even if I only half pay attention to... will probably end up enjoying more than if I attempted to watch properly.

I think I made out pretty well for the week. All of it seems like a decent unofficial start to the Halloween Season, and with the prospect of another polar vortex creeping its way into my part of the country early next week... I'm sure I'll be in the Halloween mood much sooner than normal this time of year.

Stay spooky my friends!

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Return of Sharkleberry Fin Kool-Aid!

They say more Kool-Aid is sold around the week of July 4th than any other time of year. Make no mistake about it, Kool-Aid understands that they are a summertime drink, though and through.

Kool-Aid also understands nostalgia. They get it. Thrive on it. And dare I say need a certain dosage of nostalgia in order to survive. We all know that Kool-Aid is the king of summer beverages and everyone makes a pitcher or two of the stuff at some point during the season.

But in order to really sustain itself all summer long even the king must dive into his proverbial bag of tricks and pull out a few aces, just to make sure everyone is paying attention.

No doubt pulling from the success of Scary Blackberry Ghoul-Aid's recent resurrection comes another brand of formally discontinued Kool-Aid.

Sharkleberry Fin
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SHARKLEBERRY FIN has made a glorious comeback to the world of retail!

Before we continue, a brief history lesson. I love Kool-Aid history lessons! The original incarnation of Sharkleberry debuted in 1989, proving once again that everything great came out in the late 80's and early 90's.

As the name implies, Sharkleberry was released during that brief period of time when the Kool-Aid Man was in the middle of a branding crisis and was expected to share real-estate space with other colorful mascots. In this case, motherfucker was riding a shark.

And it was as awesome as it sounds.

As is the case with most of the stranger Kool-Aid concoctions, the original Sharkleberry lasted just long enough to leave an impression but not long enough to really ingrain itself as a franchise staple.

When the eventual trend of sticking the Kool-Aid Man with other colorful characters died off so to went with it Sharkleberry Fin. Pinpointing an exact date that it went offline is like next to impossible, as nobody exactly seems to keep working records of stuff like this. But if I say "roughly 1995" then it has to be true. You can cite me on Wikipidia for that one.

Sharkleberry is back and better than ever. Featuring an updated and redesigned package with flashier artwork and a much more vibrant shade of pink and ocean blue...

... oh to hell with it. The only reason anybody ever gave a shit about Sharkleberry Fin is because of that cartoon shark. And the idea of the Kool-Aid Man riding around on him in his free time.

The new package hits all the right notes, while doing just enough of an update to make it appealing towards today's generation of snot nosed little shits.

Sharkleberry Fin
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Perhaps most importantly is how Sharkleberry Fin tastes. The package promises a hodgepodge of orange, strawberry, and banana flavors. In actuality it delivers on two of the three, with orange being the most up front of the bunch with just enough strawberry to tease your taste-buds.

The banana might be buried someplace towards the back of the flavor department but its not prominent enough to really write home about.

All in all I am more than a little meh on Sharkleberry Fin's taste. It's good enough for me to finish off the pitcher that I've already made but I'll be hard pressed to ever use the other eight packages that I currently own.

Don't get me wrong, I am glad it is here and super excited to see strange flavors of Kool-Aid currently for sale on store shelves. These long summer months need more items like this that are unmistakeably dedicated to this specific moment in time.

I am just not as in love with Sharkleberry Fin's taste as I am with the idea of Sharkleberry Fin existing in the first place!

And since today is July 4th here is a photo of Captain America punching Hitler. Enjoy fireworks and don't shoot your eye out.

'Merica 2014!