Archive for the Blog Series Category

AWESOME-tober-fest Returns!

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Fangoria, Halloween, holiday, magazine, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , on September 9, 2019 by Paxton

Okay, I took a long hiatus. I took off Halloween last year. I had done AWESOME-tober-fest for 10 years in a row and really wanted to take a break. I hadn’t fully intended to do it again this year, but I got started and now I want to do it. So, expect AWESOME-tober-fest this year. In three weeks, to be exact.

This year’s theme will be a return to Bloody Best of Fangoria.

Awesometoberfest 2019

I first did Bloody Best of Fangoria back in 2014. I still have a bunch of unused Fangorias laying around so I thought I’d revisit the topic and use up some of that horrific content. However, the first two weeks of October will also have a second, more specific theme. Elvira.

Awesometoberfest 2019

I’m a huge fan of the goth, horror host and have been for years.  There’s a lot of Fangoria content featuring Elvira as well as a wealth of other pop culture things I can talk about specifically related to the Mistress of the Dark.  I’ve been having fun compiling the article so I hope you guys have fun reading it.

Expect AWESOME-tober-fest 2019 to start on Monday September 30, 2019.

Until then, UNpleasant dreams!



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2016 is near!

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, monsters, movies, mummy, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2016 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest banner

It’s early September. The days are growing short. The spooky season is fast approaching. Some, like my good friends Matt and Jay, have already begun. It’s Countdown to Halloween time!

And yes, I’ll be doing AWESOME-tober-fest this year.  And my theme will be The Mummy!  So expect to see lots of ancient, bandage wrapped awesomeness popping up here starting, officially, on Monday Oct 3.  I’ll be covering lots of pop culture mummy things like books, comics, movies and even a few cartoons!  So mark your calendar, starting Monday October 3 I’ll be redressing the Cavalcade for the entire month of October and starting daily weekday updates featuring The Mummy!  Plus a few other surprises.

And I guarantee you, at some point during AWESOME-tober-fest, the below cartoon depiction of Alcatraz Island will show up.

alcatraz

15 more things I’ve learned about life while watching movies and TV

Posted in hollywood life lessons, humor, movies, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , on February 8, 2011 by Paxton

1000-tvs1

In March 2010, I posted a list of 17 things I learned about life while watching movies and TV shows.  It was extremely popular.  It got picked up by WordPress.com and posted on the front page.  It’s still one of my most popular articles.  So, I thought, why not write a sequel?

And here that sequel is.  15 more things I’ve learned about life while watching movies and television.


When fighting, before punching or delivering a kick, make sure your opponent is standing in front of some breakable object. A wooden wall or glass table or shelving, for example. That way if you miss striking your opponent, you’ll shatter/break the object behind which, while it doesn’t help you in the fight, looks badass.  Don’t worry, the object will shatter, not the bones in your hand.


When men take off a necklace, they don’t bother with the latch, they just tear it off. Probably because the latch is broken from the last time they yanked it off their neck.  When they give the necklace to a lady, she is able to fasten it around her neck despite it being torn off previously.


If you need to know something, turn on the TV. The channel will automatically be turned to the news and it will be showing the exact news story with the exact information you need. If a friend called to tell you to watch the news, no need to hurry to turn on the TV, the newscaster will repeat exactly what they just said before you turned it on.


All building ventilation systems, air ducts and vents are built big enough to accommodate the size and weight of one or more adults. It’s in the building code.


Land developers routinely build houses on top of ancient Indian burial grounds (or old murder sites, places of spiritual importance, etc).  However, the building of the houses don’t seem to upset the spirits, as the ghosts will not decide to violently manifest until after a new owner with a nice happy family has purchased it.

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17 Things I’ve learned about life from watching movies and TV

Posted in hollywood life lessons, humor, movies, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , on March 4, 2010 by Paxton

1000-tvs1

My wife and I watch a lot of movies and TV shows. We love the s**t out of them. We try to see a movie at least every weekend and we have multiple shows we watch during the week. It’s hectic keeping up with that.

However, having watched all of these movies and TV shows, we have come to take away many deep and thoughtful life lessons. Things you can’t learn by living life, but by watching hours and hours of Hollywood entertainment.

So here are 17 things we’ve learned while watching all of these TV and movies.

Davy Jones
You will always have need of a celebrity (for a charity performance or prom) at the exact time that celebrity is in town for a concert or filming a movie/TV appearance. If you need to get in to see them, it’s very easy to sneak past or distract their security people because they are always completely ineffective. The celebrity will never get pissed that their security people suck and everyone keeps sneaking in to their hotel room.

Monica's Apt
Large, studio apartments (with or without wacky roommate[s]) are affordable even for the most meager of budgets. As are furnishings from Potterybarn or Crate and Barrel. College kids and people right out of college have immaculate decorating sense.

Jolie Wanted
If you are being held at gunpoint, start running away just as the shooter starts shooting and tip over a table/couch/chair to hide behind. The bullets won’t be able to hit you. Odds are the shooter is a terrible shot anyway, and will hit EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE ROOM except for you. If you do get hit, don’t worry, bullet wounds apparently don’t hurt very much as no one cries out or whimpers with a bullet in them. You mainly shrug it off and wait for someone to bandage you up (heavy, stuttered breathing and sweating may be the only symptom that you have been shot). You may also have a sudden urge to tell your partner to “go on without you”, even with a non-fatal bullet to the shoulder.

Dirty_Harry
When you walk into a room and see the person you are trying to capture or shoot, call out their name or yell ‘Hey!’ or ‘Stop!’ first to give them a sporting chance to run. The element of surprise is overrated…and unfair.

Mr Miyagi
If you are being bullied at school, seek out the friendly, ethnic janitor or find your apartment building’s gardener or handyman. All of these eccentric, foreign, older men were actually master martial artists back in their homeland and gave up the fame and glory of being badass tournament fighters to live the dream of being a janitor/handyman here in America.

Defeat
You can defeat a master martial artist who has been studying for his entire life if you spend a few weeks/months learning to fight from the aforementioned janitor or handyman.

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Year End Book Report: The best books I read in 2009

Posted in Book Report, books, reviews with tags , , , on January 21, 2010 by Paxton

Badass Book Report

I don’t read books like I watch movies.  Most of the books I read in a year didn’t come out that year.  I will rarely read a brand new book the year it is released.  Part of that is because I don’t like reading hardback books.  I prefer sitting down with a nice paperback.  It just feels right.  Are there exceptions?  Of course there are.  Harry Potter.  Dan Brown.  Larry Bird.  All of these will get me to buy a hardback book and read it the moment it is released.  As a matter of fact, two of those three authors released hardback books this year that I got and read (Dan Brown and Larry Bird).  Did they make my favorites list?  Wait and see.

I’ve never really done a book list for this blog and that’s mainly because I’ve never kept a good, consistent log of what I read in a given year.  This past year, however, I did start keeping a detailed log of books I read.  I kept a log in previous years, but it includes only about half the books I read and very little detail about the book.  In Jan 2009 I started keeping track of more data and I did it with consistency (which is key).  I keep it in a spreadsheet on Google.  Well, it started in a book journal called Book Lust (which Steph gave me for Xmas 2008), but then, when I completed the journal on New Year’s Eve I moved it to Google Spreadsheet.

Here’s the Google Spreadsheet containing my book log

The first tab on the left is all the data for every year in the spreadsheet.  Then the tabs moving to the right are each year broken out by itself.  2009 has the most data, 2008 is fairly complete, but 2007 is almost bare.

Perusing my book log I see I finished 52 books last year.  That’s a book a week.  Not bad.  It’s almost exactly the number of 2009 movies I saw last year (53).  Eerie.  Anyway, like I said, most of the books I read were not released in 2009.  The only books actually released in 2009 that I read were Star Wars: Death Troopers, The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown and When the Game Was Ours by Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

So, without further ado, here are my five favorite books I read in 2009 (in no particular order).

When the Game Was Ours
When the Game Was Ours by Larry Bird and Magic Johnson – Okay, I know I just said these books were in no particular order, but I lied.  Every book but this one is in no particular order.  This book was my favorite book I read last year, and I didn’t even get it until Christmas day and then I read it in 3 days.  Fantastic, fantastic book.  A great look back at one of the greatest times in NBA history, the razzle, dazzle 1980s, by two of the game’s greatest stars, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.  I can’t even begin to describe how great this book is.  If you are a fan of basketball, especially back in the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s, then you owe it to yourself to READ THIS BOOK.  Hell, I’ve followed Larry Bird since the ’80s, I read his autobiography, Drive (TWICE!), as well has his book on coaching, Bird Watching, and I STILL came out with information I’ve never known before.  Larry and Magic discuss in frank detail what it was like to be them and playing each other.  AWESOME.

Percy Jackson series
Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Books 1 -5) by Rick Riordan – I’m counting these as one.  I read Books 1-4 in 2009.  I started Book 5 on Jan 1, 2010.  But, the series, I think, should be judged as a whole.  This is one fantastic series.  For those lamenting the ending of Harry Potter, this is a great series to read to fill that gap.  Of the five books, four of them easily belong on this list.  EASILY.  Book 2, while good, is not great.  Almost a little boring.  But Books 3-5 are so unbelievably fantastic that I can easily give Book 2 a pass.  I hear Riordan may be retiring Percy Jackson after Book 5, but the world he’s created with the Greek/Roman gods and demigods will continue on in another series.  I can’t wait to start those too because the world Riordan created is fascinating and fun.  If you love Harry Potter and/or Greek/Roman mythology, you will LOVE this series.  I can’t wait for the movie of Book 1 in February.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2009: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein book review

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, books, Classic literature, Frankenstein, Halloween, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest banner

Today, I review the book that started it all, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Shelley Frankenstein cover
Mary Shelley’s tale of the Frankenstein monster is perhaps one of the most classic and iconic horror tales of all time.  Shelley’s book has spawned not only other books, but movies, TV shows, plays, satire and short stories. It’s a veritable horror franchise in and of itself.  Her book, along with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, helped ground the incredibly popular Universal Monster stable of monster movies in the ’30s. Famously played by Boris Karloff in the Universal movies and by David Prowse (Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies) in the cult favorite Hammer films, the monstrous green, lumbering Frankenstein monster created by a mad scientist looking to create artificial life is what is most popularly known by the public at large.  Is this basically what the original book is about?  Are the events in the book different?  Before this article, I had no idea.

Having never read the original Frankenstein novel by Shelley, I couldn’t answer that question.  So I picked up the classic novel for this year’s AWESOME-tober-fest and read the original novel. I had no prior knowledge of Shelley’s book (other than it existed) and all of my imagery of Frankenstein and the monster pretty much come from the Universal movies as well as cheesy ’70s and ’80s adaptations like The Monster Squad, The Munsters and The Groovie Goolies. Let’s see how different the original novel is from the image burned into our collective pop consciousness.

Frankenstein cover 2

Published in 1818, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is considered a horror classic. Having written the book when she was only 18, Shelley originally published the book anonymously. It wasn’t until 1831 that the book was first published with her name on it.  The genesis of this novel began one night when Mary Shelley, her husband Percy and Lord Byron were at Byron’s villa telling ghost stories.  They all decided they should each write their own supernatural story.  Byron began to research a vampire story that would eventually be written by another author.  Percy Shelley would die before he could write his story. Mary came up with her story after a vivid dream.  Subsequently, hers would be the only one published as originally intended.  The gist of the story centers on Victor Frankenstein and his creation of a monster from dead body parts.

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Weekly Geeks 2009-35: Picking the books I read

Posted in books, Weekly Geeks with tags , on September 16, 2009 by Paxton

Weekly Geeks

Weekly Geeks has an interesting topic this week. One I have tap danced with talking about myself for about a year because I’ve been asked this question before. So while I’m prepping Part II of my Star Trek Original Series Season highlights, I’ll go ahead and post this.

This week’s topic wants us to talk about how we pick the books that we read next.

Do you have a plan of what you’re going to read the rest of the year? Have you had a master plan all along? If so, have you stuck to it? What helps you to decide what you’re going to read next? Challenges? Book groups? Or do you have the luxury of closing your eyes and picking any book off your shelf?

I know some of you have spreadsheets and other devices to help you keep track of your books and challenges. (I even succumbed to using a spreadsheet this year after teasing my friends relentlessly about theirs.) If you have online spreadsheets, such as Google, can you give us a peek at them with a link or a screen shot?

Spreadsheets? No. Do I have a plan for what I read? Not really. Like life, I am pretty much making it up as I go along.  Some of my books are picked by topic or author, some by friend recommendations, some by reading reviews on Amazon.com in a genre I enjoy.  When I find books I enjoy, I add them to my Amazon wish list and check to see if it’s on paperbackswap.com.  If it is, it’ll either go in my Wish List or Reminder List over there too.  I’ll then print off some of these lists and take them to Chamblin Bookmine here in Jax to see if I can get them there.  This is how I acquire 99% of my books.

Chamblin Bookmine

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