I Wear My Thrift Glasses At Night

As promised, after a fine (free) dinner at LoneStar, we headed over to the holyland.

There's something about the sexy glow of the OhioThrift sign after a long day.

I came across this shirt early on. I was intrigued by a shirt with somebody's name in quotation marks. What could it mean? Maybe the answer is on the back....

Ummm. This is a little weird. OK. A lot weird. Creepy as hell.
And what's worse, I'm still no closer to unraveling the "JEFF" mystery.

Ahhh. Classic. Vintage. The real deal. You may not know how to tell vintage from the noveau-vintage, but I do.

This one's from Gold Circle. There was a Gold Circle down the street from my house. They closed in 1988. So, at the very least, this shirt is 17 years old. Probably older judging from the fact that it's 100%Nylon.


Continuing the trend of finding gender misappropriate garments in the men's section, I present this, uh, holiday sweater.

This goes perfectly with the Nuclear Power Commission shirt (complete with an embroidered Texas) I got. Unfortunately, this one was too small. It's a shame. Now I'll never be able to profess my belief that one omnipotent being would choose one "country" to bless over another.

We found this near the checkout line. My first instinct was "how odd. A Sir Elton John doll."

Nancy came up with the winning caption:
"Because the doll told me to..."

Damn. I wish I knew some drag queens. At $7, this was a total steal.

This, believe it or not, is actually a fish. And a cookie jar. A cookie jar fish. Regardless of its intended purpose, I still can't shake the fact that getting a cookie out of the cookie-jar-fish's back (by lifting the dorsal fin), would scar a child for life.

"AAAAHHHH!!!! I'm Santa-Santa-Brain!!! And I SEE YOU WHEN YOU'RE SLEEPING!!!!!"

And here we have 5 lovely (freakin' weird) abassadors from CreepyDollLand. There was a 6th, but she didn't make it past customs.

Sorry there's not more, but the night was all about me getting some clothes at half price. And Nancy getting killer boots.

Tune in next week for another exciting episode!!

Wednesday Thrift Part 1

It's the last Wednesday of the month, which can only mean one thing. Today is 1/2 price Wednesday at the Awesomest Thriftstore in a 20mile radius!!


I took 1/2 day off work today (my reward for working last Wednesday until 5 when everyone else got let off at 12). I tooled over to Mrs. S's work location and we proceeded back to make a lunch date of thrifting.

Knowing that we'd be back again later in the day, I didn't really look at any clothes (I typically only buy clothes on 1/2pricelastwednesdayofthemonths (since I'm cheap like that)). I instead focused my camera's iris on other areas of interest.

Lucky you.

Growing up and spending a good chunk of my childhood in the 70's, I saw lots of games like this.

Looks great on the cover, right? Wow! 6 cool sports?? OK, 5 cool sports and Tennis. Yeah, really cool pictures...until you flip over the box.

It's paper. A paper game. You might as well be reading about the sport. You'll be closer to the action. You want to know what the worst part about this is? I was still jealous of the kids that had this game.

All Aboard!!!
Everybody hop on to the TootRville Express!! I have to say, I've been on that particular train before. It's the train that goes from Flatuland to Crapsville. The best thing about the TootRville Express? Gas heat in all the cars. Afterall, gas heat is warm heat.

And here we have Farrah Fake Tan and her crapmobile.

It's not often you see the Amish throw anything away. But somehow one of their toys made it all the way here. In the dark. With no lights.

This actually isn't a bad album (I'm sure I have at least one copy of it on vinyl), but apparently whomever had it before really wanted the Deep Purple album instead.

Other than 45's, the only other format suited to the Village People is 8-track. All of their (5) hits aren't even on this, which must mean they had more than one album. Who knew?

There's nothing funny about this gem. This was the first computer game I ever had (in fact, this may be my copy of it). I played it FOR HOURS! There were 7 or 8 titles in the Wing Commander series (not to mention fan favorite Wing Commander IV with Mark Hammil and Ginger Lynn. I'm not making it up-look it up!!). This game was the single reason I convinced my parents to drop an extra $100 on the IBM PS/1's additional expansion port and the Creative Labs Sound Blaster. That's it. Just SoundBlaster. It was the first SoundBlaster card. And it was the shit in all of it's 8-bit glory.
Looking at the back of the box, it's clear to see why I was so into this game. Why, it's almost as if you're really flying in space and fighting giant cat-people-thingies.

OK. I'm Tiger Woods. And I got my own EA Game Franchise. I would think the least I could do would be to freakin' smile!!

Hehehe. OK. Maybe the previous owner used this software to achieve fame and glory and just wanted to pass on this wonderful tool to someone else. Or maybe it truly blows. Either way, I'm guessing the makers of the software never saw this coming.

I hate watching baseball on TV. Listening to it on the radio is even worse. But a cassette of a radio broadcast??? Shoot me now.

Speaking of cassettes. I recorded my fair share of songs off the radio on tapes just like this. Your mom always tried to convince you that it was a better deal. The only thing worse than this was the Realistic 3-pack from Radio Shack.

Well, most of this title's right, anyway.

Ahhh. Nothing screams "dedicated sports fan" like having your own wastebaskets with your team logo on them. I wonder, is that to remind you that your team is full of garbage? In the case of the Columbus Crew, it's hit or miss.

NOW!! Now we know how the McNuggets are made!!!
I have to say, though, after careful observation of the nugget-making aperatus, I'm not entirely convinced a chicken head could have made it into the fryer. Hmm.

What's worse than a mediocre sequel?? A BOOK full of lame activities trying to cash in on the franchise. Who ya gonna call? Suckbusters.

Dick Tracy awoke on that fateful morning only to find that he had been reduced to being a:

"I love my grandma"...unfortunately, she ditched this summer camp reject as soon as her granddaughter's head was turned the other way. Oh cruel world.

This is by far the creepiest candy dispenser I have ever seen. Period.

And that's about all we have for now. I'm about to board the TootRville express to Flushing, and then we're off to eat and back to the thriftstore for round two.

All aboard!!


Fatty McButterpants

An interesting thing occurs when you start talking about your weight with others.
If you flat out admit that you are obese (or a fatass, as I like to call myself), people will try to convince you otherwise. "Oh, phhhh. You're not THAT big." "You just need to lose a few pounds" or my personal favorite "Yeah, but you carry it well. You can hardly tell."

Folks, I can tell. I'm a big boy. I'm pushing 3oo which is about 100 extra pounds. That's ONE THIRD of me that shouldn't be there.

I did Atkins for a while. Managed to go from 318 (no, that's not a mistype) to 278. Now I'm holding at about 290. About 90 pounds shy of where I need to be to, oh I don't know, be healthy.

It's not that I don't care. I care that I'm fat. And my doctor has about exhausted her patience. Mostly because I've been bullshitting her about cutting calories. I mean, I think I have. But not the way I need to. And I really need to exercise. I haven't really found my walking path in the new neighborhood (which is a cop-out).

So. What will motivate me? Not an easy question to answer, but I think I found it.

Professional Advancement.

See, the project-the documentary that I hope to shoot in the Spring involves motorcycles. And there's a strong possibility I will need to ride on (as a passenger). And adding an extra 300lbs. plus gear probably won't make the one driving the bike too happy. Plus I figure on doing a lot of walking (maybe even running/jogging/walking really fast) to get the shots I want for the film. That's going to come off a lot better if I'm not sucking wind from walking up a flight of stairs.

So that's motivation #2 (motivation #1 is not having a friggin' heart attack. I didn't have open heart surgery at 25 only to have a freakin' heart attack at 35). That and I'd like to spend a long happy life with my wife and kids.

What brought this on, you ask? I saw myself in the video for Nash. Dude. I'm fat. I'm the same height (practically) as Nash (maybe a hair taller)...but he's at least 1/2 my size. It was truly an eye opener.

So I'm thinking of a project. My own little reality show. I'm thinking of calling it Lard Ass or FatAss. Or maybe FatFarm. I'd have the obigatory video diaries and all that b.s.

And what would come at the end of it would be a sense of empowerment through the phrase that can have so many negative connotations (that being FatAss).

The "reality show" bit may or may not happen, but the rest of it needs to.

I've been carrying around about 100lbs too much for far too long.

And I'm about sick of it.

And isn't that the first step? Getting so freakin' fed up with something that you have no choice but to change it?

I think it is.

Twelvestep, shmelvestep. I'm just done with being a lardass.

And that's all I have to say about that.


The Sky Is Falling

OK. If you haven't seen Chicken Little yet, or you haven't seen it in 3-D, then you need to go see it. Now. No seriously. Get your butt on Movietickets.com and get some tickets for whatever theatre in your area is showing it in 3-D. A couple weeks back I took Jen to see it. Today we saw it again in 3-D and it was AMAZING. It was probably the best 3D movie I've seen since that one in Chicago that one time (but that one was just flat out funny...and not for kids).

Seriously. Go see it. In 3-D. It's a great movie. And it's not the annoying red/blue 3-D. It's the grey and its done very well.

Alright. Enough of that.
It's Saturday Night (and I ain't got nobody...)...Nancy and Tommy are in Indy visiting her dad and sister and I'm watching Thelma and Louise. Something is definitely very wrong with this picture.

But they'll be back tomorrow and it'll be alright. And we shant speak of the whole Thelma and Louise thing again. Ever.

Now if you'll excuse me, the new Madonna album's queued up and I've got a groove to get on.


Philosophy of Retail

If you want to solidify your feelings on the human race, put yourself in the midst of mall traffic the day after Thanksgiving.

You will either come away hating people altogether or laughing at the absurdity of it all. "IT" being the fact that no matter how much we claimed to have evolved, shopping for other people is as close to primal as we get in today's society. All the instincts are present. The drive for hunting/gathering. Fight or Flight response. Fierce territorialism. And occasionally, if you're lucky enough to witness it, complete altruistic compassion.

I received from my brother gift cards for Barnes and Noble. I had no intention of venturing anywhere today (terrified by what many foolishly naive newscasters called "Black Friday." Had they actually put an ounce of thought into it, they would have coined it "Bleak Friday" but I digress).

A sudden bout of stir craziness, though, changed all of that. Along with the promise of some leftover honeybaked ham in a cooler on my parents' front porch. Fuggit, I thought. What's the worst that can happen (note to self: "those predisposed to obsessive thought patterns ought not engage in the "what's the worst that could happen" line of thinking. It's nothing but bad news because invariably, I can always answer the question. But again I digress).

The swine pickup went without a hitch and it was off to Barnes & Noble, which unfortunately for me is located in the heart of a shopping mini-city known as Polaris.

Traffic to the shopping center was OK. Not as heavy as when there's a concert, but heavier than your general Friday night fare. I pulled in to the parking lot. 15 minutes later I had a spot. In that short span of time I alternated (with surprising regularity) between laughing at those that got all caught up and upset by this madness and one of those that WAS getting caught up and upset by this madness. It was a weird teetertotter that had me a little shakey when I got out of the car.

I headed to the BN and started the aimless wandering. Going in I had briefly thought of picking up another journal (I can't explain my obsession with having paper journals, but I have to have at least 3 at any given time. Each one has a distinct feel and purpose-hey, I never said I was normal). As I walked around, though, the journallust seemed sated. I found my way over to the film/TV area (shock) and started looking at the titles (many of which I'd read). I thought it ill advised to get another "how to" book at this point when I had yet to peruse the Film School CD that Nancy got me for my birthday. I settled on a book by Kevin Smith and another that interviewed 20 directors (including Smith, Rodriguez, and the Coen brothers) about their first films.

I set those down and wandered into the DVD/Music area of the store. I quickly seized the MuppetShow Season One on DVD and was walking around with it for about 15 minutes while I tried to figure out if I was actually going to purchase it or not. (I didn't)

I went back out and picked up the two books again and started heading toward the front. On the way out I made the fateful error of wanting to "just look" in the journal area to see if they had any cool journal.

And I found it.

THE journal. The journal I'd been looking for for about oh....YEARS.
and they only had one.

The books were set aside. And the journal was picked up and held lovingly. If you're interested, it looks a litte (exactly) like this:

I'm fairly jazzed about this journal. I have maintained paper journals (with a high degree of irregularity) since I was 10. And this is the grail to me. So, needless to say, I'm pretty jazzed by it.

After getting the journal, the day was a blur of pizzabuffet and getting a coat for my daughter (not in that order), and a wallet draining stop at the game store. We got (and by we, I mean me) Katamari Domacy, Jak and Dex (I think that's the title-Jen picked it), Intellivision Lives (60 Intellivision games-word!), and MDK2 (this one is all me-no kids allowed), along with the StreetFighter 15th Anniversary Controller (with the buttons FINALLY in the right place on the damn controller-if you play fighting games, you owe it to yourself to get this. I found it at GameStop, new, for $5).

And then we came home (to find that the videos I had burned for Nancy to take to Indy all froze at 15 minutes in. But that's a story for another page).

And that takes us up to now.

Time to go play.


Happy Birthday to Me

First off-Happy Thanksgiving.

Now back to me.
It's my birthday--yay! I turned 34. I can think of no significance to this other than it's a kickass excuse to eat some Dairy Queen ice cream cake. And we did:

It also means cool, and somewhat inappropriate cards. I can usually count on my brother (10 years my elder) to come through for me. This year was no exception.

My brother's cool. :-)
I really don't have anything else to post today. Still recovering from the turkey.
Have a happy rest of your Thanksgiving!


It Lives!!

TwistedZen dot Com is back in business.
I got all the files copied over and today made the necessary renames and it looks like everything's in place again. Now, that's not to say I won't go changing my mind somewhere along the way and completely revamp the site again in the future. But for now, it's back.


Failed Ad Campaigns

Boring Sandwich? Try Toblerone!

Unfortunately, for the folks at Tobler, Americans weren't too hip on the Coleslaw sandwich and so the subtlety of this joke was lost on them. The campaign wound up costing the American distributors of the Toblerone bar HUNDREDS of dollars.

Not to mention quite a few curious calls about the intricacies of a Coleslaw sandwich.

New AND Improved!

As if Dell hasn't included everything under the sun already with their laptops, it seems now they are catering to a whole new beast. I refer of course to the fabled Highlighter Whore.

Their new line of notebooks tout the "Highlighter Bay" and include a multi-pak of 6 MajorAccent Highlighters. An anonymous and quite possibly ficticious spokesperson for Dell said that the unit is geared primarily for college students and when not being used for highlighters, the bay can also be used for an optional CD/DVD drive.

Site Down

The down time has finally arrived.
The TwistedZen Productions site is temporarily down.
I think I mentioned that I switched hosting packages. Same ISP, but I switched from their free-preview to the $5/month plan (and in the process got about 10X as many features). 
The files are up there, I just need to do some tweaking so that the rest of the world sees them. It may also be a case where the ISP's DNS tables need to be updated (I'm guessing I got a new IP when I switched packages), so it may just be a matter of time.
We'll see, but I'll keep you posted either way because I'm sure you love reading this technobabble almost as much as I love writing it.


Friday Ninja Thriftin'

The day at work ended a wild ride of a week. So, of course the only way to erase that was to get my butt handed to me in 4 straight games of foosball.

I went home and we got ready to go out for our Friday bi-monthly ritual dinner and a thriftstore run. The experience at Lone Star was a tremendous letdown (but that's for another post). We tried to get it out of our mind as we headed toward the holy place.

Since it's nearing Thanksgiving, I thought I'd go in with a secret mission. The mission?

To find a turkey baster.

I don't actually NEED a turkey baster, I just thought it'd be cool. In case I wanted to baste a turkey. Which I don't, at the moment, but may...since it's nearing Thanksgiving and all.

OK. So that's the mission. Now let's get on with the thrift.

But first-a public service announcement.

Kids. Don't do drugs. If you do drugs, hats like this might actually seem cool. You might actually convince yourself through a drug induced stupor that a sailor hat in American Flag decor is just what you need after a long night of tweakin'.

Trust me. It's not. Nobody needs this. Step away from the e.

Back to the mission.

I thought I should start with the kitchen utensils.

but there was no turkey baster. Which, pretty much makes the mission a bust...but I still had 250MB on the memory card, so I thought I'd stick it out.

I made my way to the front of the store. Always gotta start in the showcase area (on the off chance that there's a Hi8 camcorder there-there wasn't).

But I did see these. There's not much I can say about them other than to say that these things reminded me again that taking drugs and sculpting were probably two bad things to do at the same time.

"I love you thiiiiiiisssss mush....where's the bar?"

More than Fridays?? The place with the Jalepeno Poppers? Wow...that's a deep love there, buddy.

This caught my eye (being the grillmeister that I am), but don't really see how a self contained fan blade (also known as a propeller) was going to turn my stove into a grill. It really just left me with too many unanaswered questions. Where did the charcoal go? Do lighter fluid and natural gas mix? In the end I had to walk away before I started to actually try to answer myself.

I could sure go for a hot cup of chocolate.....in a yellow cup....that looks just like a lemon.

OK...in what house would you find this? And when would you ever put candles in this thing and light it? And what's with the blue ribbon? Maybe it's how hunters celebrate the Duck Season. They light a candle for every phase of duck hunting (Bow...Rifle...RPG). I feel there's more to the story, but the ducks weren't talking.

As I walk around the store, I like to play a game I call "What the hell kind of house would THESE go in?"

So far, this pair wins the prize.
You remember that movie Misery? It's the movie where Kathy Bates plays a crazy lady. Anyway...HER house. No, not the character in the movie, Kathy's house is where these would be.

Fresha Peppa?

OK. I need some help with this one. It's dark. You're in the woods. You need to see something. You drop your flashlight...OOOP. Ok...exactly why is the flashlight camo again?

I keep seeing pieces that take me back to the paneled den of the 70's. This was certainly no exception. In response to the Lava Lamp, the General Electric company released their line of "Molten" lights. A perfect accent to the bear skinned rug.

Ever wonder where macrame goes to die? Now you know.

(this discovery also led to a previosly undisclosed door. After I find my missing flashlights, I'm going back in to explore).

In some countries, apparently, Santa's face has been replaced by either (a) a mop or (b)disturbing squid-like alien tentacles. Either way I can't think too many kids are leaving cookies out for this guy.

Capture? You mean....a creepy mountain man with a PET BEAR could actually be a threat? Who knew?

Before settling on the cute figures in idyllic settings, Hummel experimented with something of a darker nature.

Did I mention clowns freak me out? They do. And if that's not bad enough, now I'm gonna be up all night wondering what the hell the bear's telling it.

If you knew ANYONE that went to Hawaii in the 60's or 7o's then this little guy is no stranger to you. Did you ever stop to wonder how they get the milk out of one of these coconut carvings?

Colonel Mustard would have a field day with this selection.

Used Lip Balm. Dude. That's wrong on so many levels. A NEW tube of ChapStik's only $.79 cents...seriously- spring for the extra .30 cents and spare yourself the herp.

I know the next time I go back, this will be gone. It's a box. Made of wood. With 14 different kinds of woods and finishes (neatly labeled). And I have no idea what it would be used for. But somebody does. And $4 is gonna be a steal to them.

This thing freaked me out. First off it was in the kitchen goods. Then, if that wasn't bad enough-I actually TOUCHED it. It seemed to be a stick. Wrapped in some kind of skin. with a tennis ball on one end. And a squirrel tail on the other end. Over the tennis ball seemed to be the skinned head of a squirrel.

I can't imagine why anyone would have let this go??

Growing up, I watched a lot of TV (shock). There was this add for some slicer dicer thing.
This was 1/2 of it. The BLADED 1/2. The other 1/2 (which is the safety cover) was conspicuously absent.

I really wonder why there aren't more thrift store fatalities. Seriously.

Pork And Beans. That's all I'm sayin'.

Did you know you can by FOOD at the thrift store?? No, I wouldn't suggest it. But it's there. Single cans of pop, pork and beans and used microwave popcorn. Sounds like a party.

BTW, if you can read the date on the popcorn, you will see it's dated 3/04. Um...20month old popcorn isn't really going to do anyone any good, is it?

SWEET! I was wondering just how in the hell I was going to keep my head in traction when I got home from the hospital.

This charming little freak doll was in the toy section. Folks, this is not a toy. Unless of course your goal is to bypass fun and move straight on to warping your child.

There's nothing I can say to this that it's not already doing to itself.

If you look closely, you'll see that it's actually Candyland in the Bible Game Box. For a split second, I entertained the idea of removing the post-it note. I can actually imagine that someone would get this home and be really bummed that it wasn't the Bible Game.

What ever happened to IDEAL? They made some cool toys. Like this portable air hockey game. Portable is a stretch. The box is 4 feet long, 2 feet deep and 4 inches high. There are some car trunks this thing won't even fit in.

Rounding out this trip was the ultimate nightmare. A drunk clown. Nice. So may stereotypes all wrapped in to one.

And look! It really works!!

I also got a bunch of shirts, but that's probably a story for another time.

OH...I also wanted to mention that Nancy had the ultimate surreal thrift experience. She found a dress that she had purchased at a thrift store a while ago (that I donated to another thrift store when we moved) and it wound up in this thrift store.


Failing NaNo - 4 Years and Counting

I looked, Dear Readers, and noted that the last time I saw fit to let the words fall from my brain bucket and onto these virtual pages was o...