Look What’s Back At Michael’s!

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I know it’s darn early, but I can’t help it. There’s something wrong with me. Every year at this time I have to wander Hobby Lobby and Michael’s and Party City, looking for the Halloween stuff. It really is some kind of illness, one that manifests itself in pumpkins, skeletons, and stupid childlike grins. And here we are, again. The season on witches is upon us and the trappings of said season are slowly infiltrating…. and I can’t stop grinning…
I know, it’s sick….

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I Finally Update…

Hi. Hello. How are ya? Been a while, huh? I know, I know, I’m just like that chick or dude that you met at summer camp

that promised that they would write “the very minute I get home and then every day after that.” You waited by the mailbox every day, like Ralphie expecting his Little Orphan Annie Decoder Pin, and every day you were disappointed.

He/she hadn’t written. They didn’t write. They wouldn’t write.

Every day, that darned ol’ mailman would show up with a stack of gleaming white envelopes and multi-colored glossy magazines and your heart would jump. Maybe today….

Only the letter never came, did it? Instead, it was just a pile of bills and inquiries and none of it was for you.

You cursed. You spit. You punched your pillow. You drafted an incredibly witty, extremely mean-spirited response to your spurned love. Maybe you even mailed it. And what happened, bucko? It came back, didn’t it, with a big blue stamp that said: Return to Sender.  Address Unknown. No Such Number. No Such Zone.

You were heart broken. You sighed in the darkness of your room and every time a sad song like I Ain’t Missing You At All, Someone Like You, or Yoda’s Theme from The Empire Strikes Back

came on the radio, you would turn it up and let your heart bleed.

But you didn’t learn, did you?

No. The very next summer, you went to camp.

You had almost forgotten. Then you were in the mess hall and you ran into he/she again.

They looked surprised. You were shocked. You had rehearsed this scene so many times in your head, you knew exactly what you would say to them when you saw them again. But now the script was gone.

You stood there, babbling like a codfish and your mind was blank and your tongue was dry and thick.

And they were so nice, weren’t they? And they had great excuses. They had missed you. They had wanted to write, but they had moved from Dover, Delaware to Louisville, Kentucky over the fall and they had lost your address and you were the lost love of their life.

And you believed them, you sap.

You were inseparable during camp, smooching beneath the firefly trees and the summer breeze.

You swore you’d write. You were gonna keep in touch, this time. This time, it would work.

And you found yourself standing in front of the damnable mailbox, yet again, flipping through stacks of electric bills and credit card invoices and your mom’s Better Homes and Gardens.

Yeah. It’s kinda like that.

Only this time, I promise I’ll write….

I Just Lost My Flippin’ Post!!! Grrrr.

Oh, man, I hate it when this happens. I just wrote the most epic blog about my visit to the circus. It was two parts, hilarious as Adam Sandler before he made Little Nicky, and literally a literary masterpiece. Rarely had the words flowed so freely from fingers to keyboard, creating a beautiful symphony of words that precisely captured all of the goofy, little-kid nostalgia that I felt at this circus.

I finished my draft at my office, and backed it up like any good kid should. The draft was saved, and I was off for home, where I hoped to tweak it a bit, edit it (unlike I do my other posts, right?) and then post it to the applause and adoration of my millions of readers* Unfortunately, I forgot that I had an earlier  version up on my laptop. This version only had two pictures on it, and none of my wonderfully crafted prose. When I opened up my laptop and it woke from blissful hibernation, it automatically saved my most recent version – the version with only two pictures. Seriously, it was like three hours of work down the tube.

This is what happened afterwards:

At any rate, I will try and recreate what I can, but don’t expect lightening to strike twice. I will see if I can get part one up by the end of the day. In the meantime, up-yours laptop.

Sincerely,

Deigh

 

*in reality, there are only three, and one of them is my mom

Celebrating the 4th of July

So yesterday was the fourth.

I had meant to post this little ditty last night, but we didn’t get home until midnight and I had a really important meeting this morning, so I had to go straight to bed – after all, Deigh without his beauty sleep is an ugly sight to behold.

Unfortunately, my neighbors must not have realized that I wanted seven hours of good shuteye, because those jackwagons decided to shoot huge booming artillery shells off until about two in the morning. I tried putting a pillow over my head, sleeping in the closet, and finally shooting a warning shot out my back sliding door with my 12 gauge, but none of it worked. Finally, after I began pelting them with frozen balls of dog feces (don’t ask, don’t tell)  I fell into an irritated, restless sleep that led to dreams of Bea Arthur, some Nutella, and a collie named Beau.

But back to yesterday . . .

As per usual, the Misses and I hauled our little family over to my cousin’s house by the lake. There was boating, tubing, swimming, eating, drinking, and my cousin, Tommy. Let me tell you, after a few Midori melon bombs, that guy is really a hoot to be around, just keep him away from the sister-in-laws.

But the real attraction, and the reason we continue to go year after year is actually quite simple. You see, I like fireworks, but I hate spending $200 – $300 on something I am going to blow up. Luckily, my cousin is an attorney and most of his friends have money – money to burn – money to blow stuff up with. I swear these guys save up all year, and are literally dying to blow up $100 bills if given half the chance.

They come like pilgrims, bringing their offerings for the gods of BOOM!

Behold, the shrine of wonder.

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Fourth of July Shopping Only To Find . . . Halloween?

Yesterday I had to go into Hobby Lobby in order to pick up some 4th of July decorations for a float for our town’s local parade tomorrow.

I love Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Party City, and JoAnn Fabric; any place that has holiday decorations. Usually they can be counted on for a nice dose of nostalgia and an injection of holiday cheer.

Today I was walking in, minding my own business, trying to find the patriotic stuff.

Luckily, it was all on sale.

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They had two clearance rows of Independence Day. I quickly grabbed some garland, a few ribbons, and some poster banner.

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Horribly Expired Strawberry Wafers

The other day we stopped at a gas station. My wife and I were a bit hungry and so we decided to to grab a snack. My wife loves those wafer cookies, you know the chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry kind. They used to come in a variety pack that had all three flavors. Unfortunately, all I seem to be able to find are the individual packs.

Anyhow, the gas station had these in stock and they sounded good, so after much debate we settled on the strawberry wafers which were only 75 ¢ which was quite the bargain.

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We bought the wafers and a Frozen Run and a Cherrikee Red, and headed out the door. When we got to the car, my darling wife opened the package. A strong smell of pungent artificial strawberry filled the car (and our nostrils) with its delectable odor.

My wife pulled one out.

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New Soda From Pennsylvania – Frozen Run Review Along With An Accidental Candy Cigarette Retrospective

The last time I was in a play was at a local community theater, in a small suburb of the town that I lived in and we had rehearsals three nights a week. Nearby was a local mom and pop gas station that sold the original Necco candy cigarettes.

I loved these things! I would run over there before rehearsals and stock up. Then I would sit around like a cool kid and suck on the white stick with the pink tip, and my lungs had absolutely no damage. I must have cleared out their entire stock of goods during the three weeks of rehearsals and the four week run of the show.

Now there are many brands of candy cigarettes – more than you might realize unless you are a true candy cigarette aficionado like myself.

Unfortunately, most of these taste like you went to an old, abandoned elementary school, broke out a ground floor window, climbed through, made your way through all the mice and spiderwebs to one of the chalkboards on the far wall of the classroom, and found an old broken piece of Dixon Waltham chalk and stuck it in your mouth.

Oh, but not  Necco candy cigarettes. It’s not the shape, or the idea of edible cigarettes. I don’t like to pretend like I am Nick Nolte from Cape Fear, puffing away at hard sugar like a hefty kid with a Pixie Stick.

To me, it doesn’t really matter if you call them candy stix, candy cigarettes, or candy heroin pipettes. I just like the taste. It’s a kind of a mellow peppermint that is both simple, yet luxurious, and as a bonus, there was always that little pink dot on the end to break up the monotony. Yes, I realize that the dot was there to symbolize the cherry, but it just kind of made  the sticks seem . . . I don’t know . . . cooler . . .

If that wasn’t awesome enough, Necco also perfected the smooth texture. These sticks did not have the crumbly, chalky instability of the “other” brands. These were firm candy sticks with just the right crunchiness to them.

The original Necco Stix or Cigarettes, or whatever had cool names like: Dinosaur, Supersonic, and Hawk and looked like this:

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New Beverages at a Pennsylvania Convenience Store

Yes, they really make something this cool. . .

Yes, they really make something this cool. . .

Can you believe this?

One thing I love about road trips is the chance to sample local cuisine and libation. Recently, we were on a road trip, driving through Pennsylvania and stopped to fill up the ol’ Family Truckster. I walked into the gas station, parched, sweaty, and ready for a refreshing beverage, when I saw this:

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Now I don’t know about you, but I am a pretty big fan of the Choco Taco.

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Did You Know That This Exists?

Visiting your local Cracker Barrel is always a treat. If you do not know what a Cracker Barrel is, or you do not have one near you, then I feel really badly for you. A Cracker Barrel is a treasure trove of kitsch and kitch. It is billed as an “Olde Country Store”. You can tell it is cool because of the extra “e” in Olde. You can usually find everything there from Blackjack chewing gum, to old time, hand carved (or mass produced in Nashville, Tennessee) front porch rocking chairs.

Yesterday, I went to our local Cracker Barrel for some country ham and fried okra, and low and behold, I found this:

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Your eyes are not deceiving you. That is, in fact, an edible UNO game made from Jelly Bellys. How freakin’ cool is that? I love UNO, and I love Jelly Belly. This is like a match made in heaven.

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