Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hurricane Horror

I have to admit I've been slacking on the MB Blog train...

One of the reasons is that I've recently taken the plunge into home ownership and spend most of my horror filled days and nights being covered in primer and paint. More on the horrors of home ownership later...

But on top of all of that, I happened to have booked a cruise in the beginning of the year that is not only clashing with my woes of being a broke first time buyer, but also is clashing with a fright-filled time of year known to many as...

Hurricane Season.

Now, Hurricane season lasts from June until November, which is the entire summer and then most of my magical fall, but it is also a potentially dangerous time to cruise!

It also always seems to be the only time I book my cruises because they are cheaper, and because kids are in school and not splashing me while I sip on my Pina SpoOoOoOk-ladas.

Or riding on a nice catamaran

mmm cruises...

So, lately, my two favorite websites besides Party City and Oriental Trading are and The National Hurricane Center

Hurricanes are terrifying for many reasons. Obviously the widespread destruction and disarray they cause is terrifying...

but also, the coverage scares me too. Maybe it's the music they play when they are covering it on the weather channel:

Or perhaps it's also that creepy little whirly symbol:
Hurricane Symbol Pictures, Images and Photos

Or seeing it on the big map (that's Hurricane Rita below):
9-21-05 Hurricane Rita tracking map Pictures, Images and Photos

Or the cloud satellite pictures:
hurricane Isabel Pictures, Images and Photos

...All of them...all scary. Hurricanes are scary because there's really nothing to prevent them. They are a force of nature. We can try to prepare and evacuate and help those affected...hopefully way better than what happened with Katrina, but other than that, when a hurricane is's coming.

This is actually pretty cool, Wikipedia has a whole list of different things about hurricanes, you can even see which ones affected your state.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Heavy Hitters Are In The SpOooOoOky Spirit!

Today, August 26th, 2009 (still Summer, right?), I went to

and here is what I found:

I took a screen shot, sorry it's so small....but basically, it has the theme of orange and black...the words HALLOWEEN FOR LESS in BOLD, orange font, and a fantastic pumpkin taking the place of the A in the Party City logo.
My thoughts?
Tears of horror-filled joy, obviously.

I was feeling lucky, I decided to head over to my other fave,

Once again, "BOO-TIFUL"?!?!? I LOVE IT!

While O.T. is not as downright Halloween filled as Party City is, I still find it sneaking a few spoOOoOkified tips in there. Also, how creepy/incredible are those mask lollipops? I'm ordering 50 of them.

I think it's safe to say that everyone's joining the dark side....Halloween season will start earlier and earlier until one day, it will never be "out of season".


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Home GoOoOoOoOds is SpoOoOoOoOOky

We here at Monster Bash Blog want to give some spoOoOOOky props to Home Goods.

I went and did a little spooOoOoOkified shopping and found that about 1/3 of the store is completely decked out in Autumnal/Halloween decorations!

From ghost adorned dish towels and placemats, to skeleton door-hangers, I was in horror heaven!

I left with a ghost cookie soon as I have it displayed, I'll post a picture, but let me say, it is amazing. He's grinning and holding a cookie. I love it.

Thank you to our new best friend, Home Goods!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lancaster County Embraces Autumn in Aughost

I know, I'm really delayed in writing this, but...I've been a busy ghoul lately! Sorry!
If you know Jim or I, actually....mostly Jim....but in the past 4 years, also me.....We like going to Lancaster County.

What's so scary about that?
Well, nothing....but wait, let me finish.
Anyway, Jim has been going there since he was a little "Lancaster" was Aberdeen, Maryland, but we already discussed that in another blog. It's frightening! Ok, maybe not "frightening"...but bizarre for a young child.

Back to my tale of the Amish Country....
So Jim uses any chance he can get to go there....even bribing his boss at work to allow him to have a Saturday off to take a trip. Roberto, I hope you're reading this while eating your jerky. Jim has also expressed a desire to visit there once a month every year....for the rest of his life.
Nobody contributes more to the economy of Bird-in-Hand, PA than Jim himself.

Jim also plans to retire there and buy a house next to a farm.
So, a couple of weeks ago, I received word that Yummie, the mascott for Kitchen Kettle Village, was celebrating his birthday.

That's Yummie with Pat, the founder of Kitchen Kettle Village...This isn't scary at all, in fact, it's heartwarming. Look at how happy they are.

But then a zombie ghoul showed up!!! Now that's a little scarier, right? This is Monster Bash Blog after all, I gotta get something spoOoOoOoktacular in there.

Anyway, Jim and I decided to take a little day trip to visit our old friends: Kitchen Kettle Village, Intercourse Pretzel Factory, Miller's Smorgasbord, the Bird In Hand Farmer's Market....and of course....Yummie. Maybe the zombie ghoul too? No?

Definitely Old Candle Barn though.

And now this is where my story becomes an Autumnal masterpiece.
Old Candle Barn never lets me down. Adjacent to Kitchen Kettle Village is a barn where they make and sell these amazing candles.
Recently in the past maybe two years, they opened up this "room" where they showcase some of their products in a homey setting. My explanation of it truly does it no justice, it's spectacular and I find it bringing a tear to my eye each time I'm in there.

So we went there about 3 weeks ago....on Aughost 1st. Remember how I said Aughost is the unofficial start of Fall season? Well, I'm not alone.
Jim and I went to the Old Candle Barn, and as we rounded the corner into the special room of goodies, I noticed a prominent theme...

The entire room was full of....

LANCASTER, PA Pictures, Images and Photos
There were little pumpkins, a sign that says "Pumpkin Patch", autumnal scented candles, pumpkin potpourri, orange, red, yellow colored accessories....
I started making a scene. Tears rolled down my face, I think other patrons of the Old Candle Barn were confused/disturbed by my grabbing everything in that room and putting it in the basket.
I'm kidding.
Actually, everyone was enjoying it. People were strolling around the room and buying little pumpkin candle holders and harvest scented candles.
It was then that I realized....Lancaster Co. and I were meant to be, because we both celebrate the Fall Aughost.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

SpoOoOoOky Childhood Family Vacations

My childhood family vacations were...peculiar.

While my friends and their parents went to Hawaii, Disney World, California, even the beach....

I went somewhere...much, much different.

I went to:

Aberdeen, Maryland.

Now, before you (monster) bash me for saying that it's peculiar, hear me out.

I loved it there. The people were friendly, the water was soft, the hotel we stayed at gave you free apples at the front desk, there was an awesome indoor heated pool that I would get all pruney from playing in....and there was this amazing buffet called Western Steer, which was later replaced by The Golden Corral, both of which I loved. They also had Mr. Pibb, which is like Dr. Pepper, but for some reason, better.

But the real reason that my father would drag my mother and I down every year wasn't because of free apples, Pibb, or the soft water...

It was the Aberdeen Proving Ground.

What is that, you ask? Go here to find out.

Now, I'm a supporter of our troops, and what they do is something to be revered and respected, but as a baby, infant, toddler, kid.....I had no idea what was going on. I just walked around with my parents looking at all of these tanks at the Army Ordinance Museum and tried to get my parents to buy me the pen that had the little tank float down in the glitter from one end to the other every year.

Also every May, they would have an event called Armed Forces Day, where there were tents set up and life fire exercises and tanks driving around....

See that man with the pink shirt kneeling on the tank? That's my dad. See that miserable little girl wearing that HUGE helmet? That's me. At 5 years old. In 1987. I just wanted to go swimming and eat free apples.

And then I got a little older and was allowed to bring a friend with me for the torture....

Can't see us? This is what normal little girls look like, right? Little Mermaid shirt? headband and pink pants? Check....Camouflage face paint?........
Also, if memory serves, this was after we left the "Lyme Disease Awareness" Tent...wooohooo!!!

So every year, we'd pack up the minivan, ride 3 (or more) hours down to Aberdeen, and my mother and I would pout at the length of time it would take my dad to lap around the tanks and give me a 45 minute lecture about each one's "tracks". Then we would go shopping and eat at Western Steer and then I'd go swimming.

I decided to drag Jim here one year to show him my "roots". I bribed him with a Yankees/Orioles game to get him more in the spirits to go to Aberdeen. Some things were the same: the free apples were still there, the woman at the front desk was still there...I think, and the pool was still pretty fun. The Golden Corral had moved, and wasn't quite the same....and the Proving Ground was kind of scary because we had to go through a heavy duty security check just to get in.

But, as bizarre as my family trips were, I still enjoyed them...and I know alot about Lyme Disease awareness and that my dad drove a Sheridan tank when he was in the army.

Good (spOoOoOky) times.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chilling Childhood Toys

As a kid growing up in the 80's and early 90's, we had a lot of weird toys that I think about now and I am surprised they were even created/sold...There's even a website dedicated to toys of the 1980's.

These are just a few of my all-time childhood favorites:
I had Teddy Ruxpin:

who was kind of creepy and used to tell me "bedtime stories" through his motorized mouth and slow, calculated eye blinks...and he palled around with Grubby, a....worm?:
Grubby Pictures, Images and Photos


And of course, Rainbow Brite, who was clearly created out of a drug induced haze. She rode on a white horse that had rainbow hair named Starlite who ran on rainbows and there were all these little fuzzy things running around talking to her, and there was a villain named...Murky? yep, Murky Dismal.

And Cabbage Patch Kids. They smelled like baby powder, had tattoos of some guy's name on their butts....and grew out of...cabbage? Who thinks of this shit?

Oh my god, did you watch those commercials? Telling kids they're 'premies"....a doctor gave the cabbage patch doll a real checkup?! A dad calling his mother to tell her she's a grandma and that his 6 year old had twins?! Isn't this taking it way too far?! The lifeguard child molestor?! Fashion minded cabbage patch kid?! HORRIFYING!
As an aside, there were Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kids, that have since been recalled, because they have a chewing mechanism that can't be turned off and kids lost fingers and ponytails in it:


Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kids are just one on this great list of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Toys Ever. Also included are:

Sky Dancers:

They caused temporary blindness, skin lacerations, and broken ribs and teeth!

And Lawn Darts....which are banned in the U.S. and Canada because they killed 3 kids. Today, we play Cornhole instead.

Moving along, Pound Puppies were depressed dogs that you would "rescue" and grow to love. They were cute in a sad, starved, pathetic kind of way.

reading their wiki page, I learned that the bad guy is named "Captain Slaughter", and he is trying to "get rid" of the puppies....WTF?!

Madballs had disgusting faces on them and had gross names and mannerisms.

There's a million of them....

Of course, other than creepy and bizarre, some were very, very dangerous....

Like, the Pogo Ball.
pogo ball Pictures, Images and Photos
Shaped like a planet, this thing had to break at least a few ankles. It's meant to be a pogo stick, minus the stick, plus a ball. Good luck not breaking bones on this one.

Or the Skip-It:
Skip It Pictures, Images and Photos
Ugh. My ankles still feel bruised from this frigging thing.

This commercial always infuriated me. How is there being a counter on the ball considered the "very best thing of all"? Is that really "the best"? Also, when I would Skip-It to major injuries, the ball would get scraped and destroyed and smash against everything on the concrete. So it looked like a car ran over it and a dog gnarled it after owning it for a week. You also looked like a fool, because one leg stayed straight while the other one jumped. My ankles were never the same.

And of course, the Slip'n Slide. Slip'n Slide was manufactured in 1961 by Wham-O, which is also responsible for the Hula Hoop and Frisbee.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has a report online about how dangerous the Slip'n Slide truly is. Apparently, only smaller children should be using S'nS because older children and adults can suffer traumatic spinal chord and neck injuries.

I don't really feel that much else can be said after that, so....practice spOOoOOKY safety when playing with toys!

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Hot" Costume Alert Today on

So today I was minding my own business, reading some spOoOoooky online celebrity news....and I came across a Halloween related article: is selling this terrifying "hot costume" for 2009:

Is that a schoolteacher?
A supreme court justice?
A talk show host?

is that a younger Sally Jesse Raphael?!
Sally Jesse Raphael Pictures, Images and Photos



Kate Gosselin?

Who is that?

She's a mom to 8 kids?

The only redeeming quality is that the name of this wig is "8 is too much" ...haha.

This is not a good costume idea...and here's why. The only way someone would know who you are is if they are into celebrity gossip, or they watch "Jon and Kate Plus 8". Which would narrow you down to mainly women. Jim wouldn't even know who this is, and I have made him watch the show. Halloween is a unisex event, people. You can't wear a costume that not everyone will know what you are. Remember my rules!

I was so devastated that BuyCostumes was promoting this, but then I decided to look deeper into their "New for 2009" stock and I was even further surprised:

First, there's these Muppet Masks:
Um sir.....Elmo and Cookie Monster are eating your head!

I'm so distracted by Gonzo's eternally flared nostrils that I can't even appreciate the craftsmanship.

Then there's a clump of hair for sale that is supposed to be Simon Cowell's hair?
This guy's face also looks like he's smelling something gross...not breaking the dreams of young musical hopefuls. for 2009?

...Motorcycle Police Helmet? Does this guy look like he's into it?
Didn't think so. This looks like a "last seen photograph" of this guy...before he escaped the institution.

Also considered "New" for 2009....God knows why...Is this miserable looking Cheech costume:
This is "Up in Smoke"'s Cheech...from the info on's horrible/great.

Slash...errr "rock superstar" is not new for 2009:

And then there's this which I think is supposed to be Michael Jackson, but it is seriously horrifying...also they call it "Pop King" and nowhere mention the words "Michael" or "Jackson". Creepy though. Reeeeally creepy.

I figured Michael Jackson would be a hot costume for 2009...There's so many great options...Thriller Michael, Beat It Michael....but Kate? Kate Gosselin? Oh no.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It's Aughost Again!

It's Aughost!
autumn Pictures, Images and Photos
I can't tell that Fall is right around the corner, because for the past few days I've had that feeling...

That feeling where I start thinking about how friggin' awesome Autumn is. The weather, the way the sun looks in the mid to late afternoon, the colors of the trees, the pumpkin / apple picking, the fun activities that you can only do in fall (hayrides, haunted houses, pumpkin carving, MONSTER BASH PLANNING, etc), sweatshirt season, costume preparations, slow cooking, mmmmhhhhmmmmm). Are you there yet? I sure am.

I consider mid-Aughost (fine, entire August) the official start of Autumn. People who are in the teaching profession especially hate when I say that, but too bad! Also, the weather this summer in the tri-state area, possibly beyond, has been HORRIFIC. Did we even have summer? Or was it monsoon season? Just wondering.

Think about it, in Aughost, parents go "back to school" shopping, which includes Fall clothing and other supplies...but mostly stuff for Fall. All stores begin their sales of Autumnal wares. I received word yesterday that Yankee Candle has their Fall fragrance collection out...also, I just saw on their website that they have 8 new candles...

1. Moonlight Harvest
2. Vanilla Pumpkin
3. Macintosh Spice
4. Farmer's Market
5. Autumn Fruit
6. Almond Cookie
7. Be Thankful
8. Lakeside Birch

All of those except Almond Cookie and Lakeside Birch SCREAM Fall, dont' they? I think my favorite is either Moonlight Harvest, Vanilla Pumpkin, or Farmer's Market. What's yours?

Anyway, in other news, also in Aughost, my best pals, Party City and Party Box, start stocking the Halloween stuff. Slowly, but surely, Halloween comes into the mix.

This year, I need to keep reminding myself to be a little more frugal in terms of spending for Monster Bash 2009, the Economic Recession Edition. It's very hard though, and it's still ok to look, right?

On the way back from Raymour and Flanigan, I can make that easy U-turn right into Party City's parking lot. It's practically on the way!

autumn Pictures, Images and Photos