Friday, October 31, 2008

tales from the candy crypt

It's time for Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is that enough of an exclamation? I hope it is! Since I'm such a nice guy, I decided to help all of those parents out there with children. I guess all parents would have children. You wouldn't technically be a parent unless there was a child. I think I mean parents of young children that are going out trick-or-treating tonight.

I know there are a lot of safety concerns and we don't want the little ghosts and goblins to get hurt, so I have some tips on what you should and shouldn't do tonight.

Now pay attention:

Unless your child is actually a REAL ninja, do not let them dress as a ninja in all black. It's good for them to blend into the night if they are actually fighting off samurais from the Neko clan, BUT if they are going out just to get candy, it's not too safe. Here's the solution: Buy a bright green ninja costume. This way they will stand out against darkness of night. If your green ninja wants to know why they are bright green, just tell them that they would blend in if they were in a huge, open, grass field on a cartoon. The grass on cartoons is usually bright and green. Therefore, we could not see your day-glow ninja.

Pirates are another great costume, but tend to be darker colors. Again, that is not safe at night. Instead, be a Pink Pirate! Pink is easy to see at night, and if you ask any pirate, they will tell you that they wish they could get away with wearing pink. It's true. Have you ever met a real pirate? I have. And they LOVE pink.

If you're going to be a pirate, do NOT bring a real sword around with you. I know it sounds like a great idea, but it's not. Once people start hearing about a real pirate around town, they will lock their doors. When that happens, there is no more candy to get. It's better to be nice to the candy-givers than to threaten them. You want them to keep giving you candy every year. If things get all stabby...well...they might not give you candy next year.

Finally, and this is the MOST important piece of advice you will ever get in your life, so put down your ipods and hoola hoops, kids, because I'm only going to say this once...EAT AS MUCH CANDY AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN AS SOON AS YOU GET HOME. You need as much sugar in your system as you can get so you can make it through the time change on Sunday. Riboflavin, too. Without these two ingredients in your body, I cannot guarantee that you will make it through the time change without any side effects. I've seen a lot of strange things happen to people who didn't overload on sugar and riboflavin before the time change.

I'm only here for your safety. It's a tough job trying to keep the world safe, but it's what I do.

I'm off to watch the green ninjas battle the pink pirates.



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

halloween memories

Do you remember your most favoritest costume when you were a kid? I think I do. I'm not sure because I can't remember most of them, BUT I do remember one that I loved.


It was this white suit and helmet with a blue belt and blue plastic visor. I had a ray gun as well. Not a real ray gun, but a fake one that made sounds. Ok, so it didn't make noise unless I made "PCHOOOOOO" sounds, but my sounds were pretty convincing and I think they may have convinced a few people that my ray gun was real.

Of course, once they saw that it was made of plastic, they knew it wasn't real. Everyone knows that real ray guns are made of adamantium. Otherwise they'll melt when being used. Duh.

As a spaceman, from outer space, I probably saved the universe a bunch of times. IN FACT, I think I saved many other universes as well because my space ship could go pretty fast...and had, like, real ray guns and space bombs and pineapple juice on it. Aliens HATE pineapple juice. This is weird, because I love it.

Anyway, I actually remember that costume. I think there are old pictures of me in other costumes for halloween. I'm pretty sure I went as raggedy Andy one year. Maybe it was raggedy Anne. They both look alike to me.

I think I also when out as Ernie one year. I had to wear one of those plastic masks that they don't make anymore because you can't see out of them. They are also gross because all your face moisture stays on the inside of the mask making it horribly uncomfortable. Blindness and face sweat were worth a bag full of candy, though.

So, did you have any wonderful costumes when you were a kid? I wish I could remember more, but I'm pretty sure all that candy messed up my memory. For all I know, I'm just making all this up.

I'm off to play with my ray gun.




Monday, October 27, 2008

juicy fruit

I am going to be in another play soon (shall I plug? Nov. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 with Enfield Valley Rep) and I was trying to think of something fun to write for my bio. We get to write little acting bios so people can learn about us. I don't have much to talk about, so I usually make up silly things to entertain people.

This latest one is silly, but true. I wrote that I was inspired to act from a Juicy Fruit commercial. You remember Juicy Fruit, right? It's gum! As I recall, the taste, the taste, the taste is gonna moooooove ya. It was popular in the 80s. Doublemint gum was big then, too. It doubled your pleasure, in case you forgot. Wrigley's had a huge chunk of the gum market in those days.

Anyway, I remember seeing a commercial of some guys chewing Juicy Fruit and polishing something. So I grabbed a rag, a stick of Juicy Fruit and started to polish the stairs. With imaginary polish, of course. That is the earliest memory I have of acting. I'm pretty sure I did it because the guys in the commercial were really happy and I thought polishing would make me happy, too. (Proof that kids do copy what they see on tv!)

It worked! Well, polishing didn't make me happy, but chewing Juicy Fruit did! Polishing is not a fun job, but the gum did in fact "move me" into happy! I believe that is what they mean when they tell me the taste will move me. It moves you from not having fun to having fun. Try it. You'll see.

Since 1893, Juicy Fruit has been helping people smile. I'm pretty sure that Roosevelt was chewing it when he was working on the Panama Canal. That's why he always looked so happy.

Einstein was chewing it when he was working on his special theory of relativity. Juicy Fruit is the reason it is special.

Finally, and you can look this up in the history books, George Foreman was chewing it when he created the Foreman Grill. 100% true. Look at the man! He's happy! Thanks to the Juicy Fruit!

So, why aren't you chewing it right now? It will move you! MOVE! You'll probably make millions of dollars by creating new inventions and ocean-connecting canals!

I'm off to make more horribly inaccurate historical facts.



Friday, October 24, 2008

it's not a costume, it's a uniform

It's time again for my job to have its Halloween Costume Ball. I've decided recently that I'm a little torn about halloween. On one hand, it is a holiday for candy. On the other hand, I have to dress up. Then least there used to be candy.

Yeah. I don't get candy anymore, do I. I can't go to people's houses and ask for treats because I'm too old. I've tried it. They don't like giving out candy to the big kids. You little kids should still go out there and get candy. As much as your little arms can carry. Then get more and drag the bag home. Maybe bring a wagon to hold multiple bags. Wheels on the wagon cause less friction allowing you to carry more. It all has to do with wheels and axles and simple machines. See, kids? Science gives you more candy!

I think I used to love halloween because I would dress up and get candy. Now all I do is dress up. There is no candy. That is why I've been lazy finding a costume for this year's party. I used to get a reward (candy) for putting on a costume. Now I have to put on a costume to work for free. I don't get prizes or anything (pouting).

Last year I was Superman. It was fun. It wasn't very creative, but that didn't matter to me anymore. I tried to be creative in the past, but nobody got the jokes. I used to think up costumes, but I had to explain myself all night.

My big idea this year was to go as a paper clip. I would hold paper all night. I could also be a stapler...and hold paper all night.

I guess the good thing about halloween is that candy goes on sale right afterwards. If I can wait long enough, it'll be 90% off. Unfortunately, that'll probably be the candy that nobody wants. Like candy corn. yuck.

I hate to be a downer, but halloween has beaten me. Do you hear that halloween! You won! I will still eat your candy, but I will not dress up for you!

Maybe I could go as a trick-or-treater and carry around a bag of candy. That way I will have candy all night! Sweet.

I'm off to work on my costume.



Thursday, October 23, 2008

caring enough to give the gift of heifer

I'm sure a lot of people don't want to hear about it, but christmas is already in the works this year. I don't do too much for the holiday, so I'm not really getting ready right now, but I do know some people are already done with their gift buying. Might as well get it done early, right!

That's why I'm here. To help all of you folks who want to find the perfect gift for the person who has everything. How about a heifer! That's right, for the low, low price of $500, you can buy your loved one a brand new heifer!

Ok, so you can't EXACTLY do that, but you sort of can. I heard about this before, but I never got the catalog. It is actually called "The most important gift catalog in the world." Yep. The entire world. It's a charitable organization called Heifer International that allows you to buy animals for families in need. I'm pretty sure that most of these families are in different countries, though I haven't seen the statistics. It is possible that a family in southern Nevada got a goat and is enjoying its milk as we speak.

AND, a goat is only one of the many animals that you can buy for people. You can also get pigs, sheep, rabbits, chicks, bees and more. I would like some rabbits. Ya know, if you're looking to get me something. Bees would be nice too.

I don't usually get all sappy and ...emotional, but it's fascinating to read the stories from these people. There is a story in the catalog about a family that got a goat. Then the goat had kids. Then they sold one of the kids for $200. This allowed them to put a tin roof on their house. And by house, I think they mean a hut of some sort that is made of sticks. Previously, their roof was made of grass. Oh...and they had money left over for the kids to go to school. Not the goat kids, but the actual human children.

Here's what I would do with an extra $200...that I might get from selling a goat. I could buy some DVDs of TV shows I like. Maybe get a fancy new cell phone. Or buy some comic books...which I could then fashion into a roof on top of a fort that I made out of blankets and the couch. So...I'm kinda like that family from, .00001% like them.

I'm not writing this to guilt you into buying a sheep for a family in Ecuador. I can't afford most of the gifts in the catalog. I just thought it was interesting. I'm sure we all forget what it's like in other parts of the world. I'm no different. I guess it's just one of those reminders to be thankful for what we have.

Ugh...too sappy. True, but sappy. Like, just tapping the maple tree sappy.

I'm off to find some pancakes.



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

the city of homes

I was talking to the traffic guy at work this morning and he asked me what Springfield was called. I told him it was the "City of Homes." I guess he didn't believe me because when we spoke a little later, he told me I was right...after he looked it up online.

Yeah. He thought it was so dumb that I was making a joke. As if I were saying it's the city of trees because it has trees in it. No. Sacramento is the city of trees.

Where did these nicknames come from? Did one of the founders look over Springfield and say, "I see a lot of homes here. You could, in fact, say that it is a city of homes."

To which his companion/sidekick would say, "I agree sir, but wouldn't that be true of all cities?"

And our founder would reply, "No. Only my town has homes. All the others have houses. No sausage for you tonight."

People were mean back then.

Are you interested in some of the other nicknames for our Western Mass cities? Grand! I will tell you!

West Springfield: West Side! Yeah...because it's the west side of Springfield. Another brilliant observation.

Amherst: (there are actually two...and they are gems) A-town and The Herst. Wow...really? Ok, so let's start off with "The Herst." Did somebody think that was cool in, like, 1983?

"Yo, I'm stoked to the max that I'm going to The Herst today. Totally."

Riiiiiight...and I don't even want to start with "A-town." I'm guessing that was an insult because it looks too much like another "a-" word.

Northampton: (another twofer) Hamp and NoHo. Hamp is about as cool as Herst. Scratch that. Hamp about as bodacious as Herst. I'm pretty sure they just stole NoHo from New York.

The final two that I have today are nothing special but I will give them honorable mentions because they are good from a business point of view.

Holyoke is Paper City and Westfield is Whip City. Holyoke is a good supplier of paper and Westfield sells a lot of whips. Which, for some reason, are still in demand even though nobody rides horses. I can't figure that out. I'll have to look it up.

So there you have it. I don't want you to think I'm making fun of Western Mass. I just wanted to keep it local. I could do this all day if I looked at every city in America. Remember Sacramento? It's the city of Trees. Wait...are you saying there are trees there? WOW! That's some keen observational skills! (heavy on the Sacramento sarcasm)

I'm off to The Herst...because it is rad to the max.



Thursday, October 16, 2008

the debator

I'm pretty sure that's not a word, but it looks cooler than debater, or one who debates. It sounds like Terminator. "I am the De-bay-tour!" It's more superheroish that way. I guess the superhero would be able to debate really, REALLY well.

Faster thinking than a speeding bullet!

More powerful vocal chords than a locomotive!

Able to convince tall buildings that they can be leapt over in a single bound!

When you can't win an argument, there is only one hero to call. THE DEBATOR!

Ok, so that's a lame power to have. Whatever. I bring this up because the presidential debates are over and it's time to choose. I have noticed something, though. The candidates are kind of like little kids. If you have little kids or if you ever were a little kid, then you probably know what I'm talking about. They don't necessarily lie, but they exaggerate...A LOT. They take something and make sound HUGE.

Mom: Eat your vegetables.

Kid: But mooooooooom! You make me eat vegetables ALL THE TIME!

Mom: You didn't eat any yesterday.

Kid: Well, practically all the time. Enough so it SEEMS like all I ever eat are vegetables.

Heck, I still feel like that sometimes, but that's because I like to whine. What we need is a debate with a moderator who can say, "That's not entirely true. Why not just tell us about your plan instead of making up stuff about your opponent?" Then, if they ever stray from the question, they get a slap to the face.

That's what I'd like to see.

I'd also like to see them chug pudding, but I don't think that'll happen either. I would totally vote for the guy who could chug more pudding. That's pretty much how I think all foreign policy should go. Think of all the problems that would be solved. I see peace in the middle east. It would be nice if Kentucky and Tennessee stopped all that fighting (I had to look at map for that joke...but I think you'll agree that it was totally worth it).

I'm off to eat my's, like, every day with these stupid carrots...



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

potty time, excellent

I never thought I would talk about this in my blog. I try to stay away from toilet humor just in case kids are reading, but I guess that doesn't matter because it seems to be encouraged! Yes! It's true!

I saw a commercial while watching my Saturday morning cartoons. It was for a doll called "Little Mommy Gotta Go Doll." Can you guess what it does? YES, for the low price of $59.99, it goes to the bathroom! She says adorable phrases like, "I gotta go," or "pee pee in the potty," and, my favorite, "little poo!"

I guess they are marketing this towards little girls because that is who was playing with it in the commercial. At least the doll will also wash her hands after using the potty. Then, you can have her brush her teeth. Of course, according to the description, you will need an adult with wire cutters to get the baby out of the packaging. I guess the baby was locked up for bad behavior. The last time I needed wire cutters, there was a government issue barbed wire fence in my way.

I guess it's fun for a lot of little girls to have dolls and pretend they are the "mommy." There might even be some little boys out there who do the same thing. BUT, do these kids really want the responsibility of potty-training the little buggers? Really? From what I hear, getting a baby to use the toilet is not terribly easy. It's not like putting batteries in a fake toilet. No. There are usually "mistakes" and "messes" that need to be cleaned up. This doll it totally unrealistic.

Also, do kids really shout out "Little Poo!" after going to the bathroom? And if they can, why can't I? I bet if I used the bathroom at work and shouted "Little Poo!" when I walked out I would be fired. If a little baby did that, it would be considered cute. Talk about a double standard. I'm proud of my accomplishments...I have so few these days.

So, that's all. I felt this would be too gross to talk about, but remember, it's not my fault. I didn't make a toy that talks about bladder control. I can't talk about this anymore.

I'm off to find my wire cutters.



Monday, October 13, 2008


Wow! It's Columbus Day! If you are a kid, you probably have school off. If you are an adult, then you probably still have to work. I remember being a kid and thinking Columbus was awesome for finding America and giving me a day off. Now that I know the whole story, I'm still glad we celebrate it because it reminds me that my brother's birthday is coming up. It's right before Columbus Day.

Do you know why we have huge sales during Columbus Day? It's because Chris was a shrewd business man. When he convinced the king and queen to give him cash to sail across the ocean, he wanted to become "Admiral of the Ocean Sea" and have the option of buying one-eighth interest in any commercial venture in the new lands AND receive one-eighth of the profits. Yeah, the royal folk agreed to this deal because they didn't think he would make it back alive. Clearly there was no IQ test to become a ruler in those days. Hmmm...these days either...

Oh, and they called the Atlantic Ocean the "Ocean Sea" in 1492 because they weren't terribly creative and it was a better name than what they called it one hundred years before. In 1392 it was called "Not Solid Land With Fish In It Place." That was a pain to put on maps, so "Ocean Sea" was chosen.

Columbus sailed across the ocean on the Santa, the Pinto and the Ave Maria. And no, Santa was not on the ship, but they did have presents for people of the new land. Now, Columbus wasn't a very bright man. It's true. He actually thought the Earth was WAY smaller than it really is. He figured a short trip would get him to the Indies. Instead, he bumped into North America. Woops.

He landed in Spangler, Pennsylvania and was so inspired by his journey and the new land that he decided to write and direct amazing movies like Gremlins, Adventures in Babysitting, Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

The Canadians LOVED his movies so much that they decided to make it their Thanksgiving. They especially like to give thanks for Columbus making Macaulay Culkin such a huge star.

There you go. Now you know why Columbus Day/Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated every year. So, to celebrate, don't go to school and buy Mrs. Doubtfire at great sale price. And wish my brother a belated birthday if you want.

I'm off to be the Admiral of the Bathtub Ocean where's my rubber mean Commander Duckson.



Friday, October 10, 2008


I saw that the government has a new superhero. Yeah. They call him "Labelman!" That's how I know it's a boy. The "man" part. Labelman is here to save the day from obesity and indigestion by telling kids to read the Nutrition Facts on the food they eat.

Unfortunately, kids probably won't find Labelman because there is no advertising budget and if you do an internet search for Labelman, make sure you put in "FDA" or you won't find him. If you do find him, you'll see that the government also decided to save money by having an intercompany contest to actually create Labelman instead of hiring an advertising agency or even an artist.

There was probably a poster on the corkboard of the FDA's lunchroom that went something like this:

"Tired of the FBI and CIA getting all the attention? Want to be the envy of everyone at 5600 Fisher Lane? Want to win a jar full of JELLY BEANS? Well it's your chance to create a superhero who can fight the most evil villain in the world: OBESITY!

This will be the biggest thing to happen to the FDA since we were formed in 1906. Well, except maybe for that time when we got the power to stop people from selling radioactive beverages, but that was so long ago that it's not really important anymore.

Remember, you can win A WHOLE JAR OF JELLY BEANS!

Here's what you have to do:

Create a superhero to teach children about healthy eating,

Submit you drawings with your name and badge number,

Wait patiently for approval from the president,

Then, one of you will win JELLY BEANS!

Get to it you crazy, creative FDA maniacs!

Did we mention JELLY BEANS!"

I make fun of the FDA for a reason. Labelman is basically a rectangle with arms, legs and a face. On the body of said rectangle is a picture of the Nutrition Facts that you see on food. That's it. He's a Nutrition Facts label with human features. Oh, and his eyebrows float above his eyes. I don't know what they're attached to, but they seem work just fine. It also looks like he blinks upward. It's hard to explain, but his eyes are half closed with the bottom lids going up. I don't quite get it.

You're right. I shouldn't make fun of the person who made Labelman. I admit that if I were asked to make a character, it would have probably been a stick figure with a word bubble above its head that said, "Hey Kids! Don't eat junk! Eat healthy food!"

I also would have handed that in to the president in an attempt to win the jar full of jelly beans.

So remember, when the world is at risk from high sugar and saturated fat, Labelman will come and save the day with high fiber and protein.

I'm off to read my nutrition facts.



Thursday, October 9, 2008

sparkles has been too long since I've blogged. I'm sorry about that. This has been a very crazy week for me. That is what I am here to tell you about!

So, you may have heard that I was an extra in a movie. For two whole days! Wow! It's true. I was "Pedestrian 185" for the movie they were filming in Northampton. They liked my pedestrianing so much on Tuesday that they asked me to come back and pedestriate again on Wednesday. You should have seen me walk up and down the street in Northampton, you would have thought that I was walking my whole life. And you know what? You'd be right!

It was fun. I have never been involved with a big budget movie, so I was interested in how the whole thing went down. For an extra like me, it was a whole lot of standing and walking. And no, I did not see Mel Gibson. I didn't really care if I did. I think most of the extras just wanted to try out the whole "extra" thing. I talked to a lot of people and nobody really seemed to care if they met Mel. Most people just wanted to do something different. A lot of them were folks in the Screen Actors Guild and they were just trying to make a living from acting and being an extra is a good way to get some cash. I don't envy them. It has to be tough trying to make it in the movie business.

You wanna know who didn't have fun? A lot of folks from Northampton. There were a LOT of unhappy pedestrians. Not paid pedestrians like me. People who just walk for free (why would anyone walk for free???). What was interesting was listening to some of the people who were supposedly upset. I was set up on the street and people could sit to the left of me and they would be out of the camera shot. They were complaining about the movie being made there, but they sat there forever watching the whole process. This happened with a whole bunch of people. They sat and complained and watched me walk up and down the street. I guess they were so mad about the inconvenience that they couldn't move. Sometimes I get so mad that I'll hold my breath, so I can understand where they are coming from.

Overall, I had a nice couple of days getting paid to walk. We had to fill out legal stuff so we could get a check sent to us. The cool thing was that the sheet had a spot for us to put our "actor name." I put down Sparkles. So if you see the credits for Edge of Darkness, look for the name Sparkles. I was thinking of making it Sparkles McAwesome, but I don't think I could fool anybody into thinking that I'm Irish.

I'm off to pedestriate. I really hope that word doesn't mean something bad.



Thursday, October 2, 2008

here's a stick, kid. enjoy.

A friend of mine is going through her quarter-life crisis and is learning how to play guitar. I'm not saying that to make fun of her. I've been going through mine for a few years now. I'm probably entering my three-tenths crisis right about now. I really need to get over it. I mean, I've started taking dance classes. That's like trying to teach a rainbow lorikeet how to plow a field.

Anyway, she decided to learn how to play guitar, take french classes, learn piano, maybe some acting classes, knit for money and herd sheep blindfolded. The important one is that she is learning how to play guitar, which is totally cool because it can help her pick up chicks. It didn't help me do that in college, but I know, if you're any good at it (I'm not), that it can make the ladies swoon. I don't know if her boyfriend will get jealous, but that's what happens when you're dating a rock star. Just ask Jennifer Anniston.

We were talking about those wonderful days in kindergarten when it was music day. There were a bunch of percussion instruments in a plastic bin and you would rush to get the ONE tambourine only to end up with a stick.

For those of you who might not know, a percussion instrument is one that requires hitting. Like drums. Or my head. Both make thud sounds.

I don't think I ever got the tambourine, BUT I would sometimes get a stick and a block so I could keep time with Mary Had a Little Lamb. I rocked that song harder than any of ewe. (HA! Get it? A sheep is a ewe? Mary had a lamb? sigh...I tried.)

SO, what really got us talking was the "bumpy stick" instrument. Did you have these? It was a stick that was bumpy. You could slide it across the edge of a table and it would go "brdubrdubrdubrdubrdu." It looked a little like the coil of a notebook wire. I have no idea how else to explain it. I just remember enjoying it because you could slide it over the edge of a block AND hit the block. It was like two instruments in one! Take that tambourine!

Ok, so the tambourine could be hit AND it would jingle. That's a little bit cooler than the bumpy stick, but I'd like to see tambourine-players use the tambourine in bar fight. They would just get laughed at. Bumpy stick could whack somebody over the head AND then you could slide it over the corner of the bar to make a noise. Kind of a like an "I just beat down your tambourine! brdubrdubrdubrdu! Sucka!" Oh yeah...that's rubbing kosher sea salt into the wound.

Whew...I should really calm down. I think I have a lot of repressed anger from those music days in kindergarten. I think that's why I never actually became a rock star. It's because I never got the tambourine on music day. Yeah...we'll go with that stup...uh...BRILLIANT excuse.

I'm off to herd sheep. Where's my blindfold?'s wonder I couldn't see it. (I'm on fire today!)