Monday, October 31, 2011

Spooky Thrift Store Items and Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays; you get to dress up like and idiot and indulge in food and drinks. It's also a time when scaring the crap out of everyone is perfectly acceptable, which is good for me since I love horror movies. I also love thrift stores, so I will use Halloween as an excuse to show you a bunch of disturbing thrift store finds from recently. But first, I will share some of my Halloween shenanigans.

A couple friends and I decided to dress as characters from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. In particular, Dayman, Nightman, and the Troll from the episode The Nightman Cometh. If you haven't watched that show, I highly recommend it, as it is abundant with hilariously inappropriate humor. But if you haven't watched it, don't feel bad; just about zero people got the reference. Here is a picture of what we were going for:

And this is our interpretation:

No one was really ready for that picture... But my friend (Nightman) had some pretty sweet contacts!

The best part was that they kept rotating all night so the slits would be going all sorts of crazy directions. 

I also decided to dress up for work, thinking I would be among other fellow holiday celebrators, but unfortunately, no, I was the only one. In the entire building. Not only that, but no one even knew I was dressed up! I have to dress "business casual" at work, so basically slacks and a polo, but today I wore a great 70's sports coat, tie, and vest I found at a thrift store and went as a 70's business guy.

I did get a lot of compliments on how nice I looked though, so I guess that's a nice consolation. My favorite part of the outfit is the inside of the jacket:

It's got an awesome vintage-y look to it, plus those armpit stains were free of charge! I also found a bunch of tobacco in the pockets when I bought it...

Anyway, enough about me, let's talk about thrift stores! In no particular order, here are a bunch of random creepy things I've come across as of late. First up, we have these very creepy dolls I found in this plastic box. Prepare for nightmare fuel.

They might not look like much from there, but you can see the malicious intent on the doll on the left as it peers out from its dirty yellow prison. He can't wait to get out, and so I do as he wishes.

Gah! They're horrible :( Just look at the piercing blue eyes of the girl. I think their hair is... real human hair... seriously. Also, I don't think her outfit is appropriate - she is clearly missing a bra. Judging by the size of the boy's head, he is obviously a huge toddler. I don't know what's going on with his overalls, either, but I guess they just had to strap a couple belts on a tarp as it is probably difficult to find clothes for an enormous child. I'm not even sure these dolls are supposed to go together because the boy only has movable arms, whereas the girl has movable everything, including weighted eyes so she can "go to sleep." 

Or get murdered. You be the judge. I don't even want to know where the above scene is going. 

Here is a very, uh, "modern" doll. 

It's the "I Just Ran Into a Doorknob, Seriously, You Guys" doll. If domestic violence isn't spooky, I don't know what is. 

Next up, we have an interesting jar.

Or perhaps it is an urn. This thing must be a joke, but who the hell would actually buy this and put it in their house? We're not spiders, we don't murder our partners after we become lovers. This jar could give off one of two messages: 1) I'm a crazy woman, or 2) I'm a crazy man. I was curious so I picked it up and heard something inside.

Oh god, it's not a joke! 

Here is a real work of art:

It's a childhood version of Kathy Bates from Misery! If you don't know what I'm talking about, you should watch this, and then watch the entire movie because it is great. Look at the way she holds her doll's ankle - it's as if she's been dreaming of hobbling someone her entire life! Creepy effing statue. 

Here is a very confusing statue thing:

Not sure exactly what is going on here, but it appears those two children have ingested large quantities of magic mushrooms. It would certainly explain their choice in clothing. The boy on the left looks like he was once holding something in his hand that they are both mesmerized with, but since that piece has broken off, it just looks like these kids are tripping on drugs. Or maybe they are fish-people who have inhabited the bodies of two kids but haven't quite gotten the whole "facial expression" thing down yet. That would explain the huge eyes and fish mouth.

Here is another statue with creepy eyes. So many creepy-eyed statues!

"I think you're nice - please let me eat your soul :)" 

I found this candle of a golf-playing bear...

... and decided to light it and see what happens. Unfortunately the wick only went to his neck, but the results were still intriguing.

"It's starting to get a little warm in here..."

"Yes. I definitely feel something hot."

"Don't mind my face lying all over the place, guys."

And Golf Bear was no more. The wax melted in a pretty interesting way though. Right along side all the bits of his head.

And finally, another doll:

This doll is labeled "Cute Expressions," and, surprisingly, of all the cute expressions I can think of, "pure hatred" is not among them. Look at those eyes. That baby looks like it will rip your face off the moment you unwrap its cellophane cage. It's no mystery that this thing ended up in a thrift store - can you imagine how pissed you'd be if you asked for a baby doll for Christmas and your mom gave you this thing? 

Also, check out that picture in the lower right. Notice the arrows going into and out of the baby's chest. I am 100% sure that that picture depicts directions on how to kill this devil baby. "Not included: 1 wooden stake."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thrift Store Adventures: Art, Kinda!

The other day I went to my favorite thrift store ever, One True North in Kansas City. They had a "bag sale" where you put whatever you can fit into a grocery bag and it's only $6! I got like $40 in thrift store stuff for 6 bucks, and $40 in thrift store stuff is about $5000 in retail value. That may be an exaggeration. Regardless, I'm pretty happy about it.

I've been finding some good (read: weird) artsy stuff lately, so today I'm going to share some with you! First up, we have some little plates or something.

They are slightly translucent and come in four different colors. Oh yeah, they also have a super creepy old man on them. I don't know what these are or what they are meant to be used for, but this old man is a nightmare:

Seriously. Are his eyes supposed to be golf balls or does he just have really bad cataracts? Is his nose supposed to be a golf club or does he just have a hollow void in his face where his nose once was? *shudder* He looks like a mix between a guy without a nose and Aphex Twin. See?

It's okay to make fun of that noseless guy because he was arrested for kidnapping someone. Hoy.

Next up we have this bizarre wooden wall plaque.

It features a woman wearing a green turban and dress, with the turban and dress being the only objects in color. The plaque looks pretty old, and there are no markings on it anywhere so although I tried to research it, I came up empty handed. I do, however, think it is super weird, and she could possibly be someone's loved one, so it is prime thrift store material for me. I guess I don't have much to say about this other than I thought it was really interesting and super strange. And she's kinda hot.

Here is a very "creative" plate.

It is a dinner plate with the word "CAT" painted on. It has been hand painted and glazed, so someone took some time on their CAT plate. At first I thought it was the Caterpillar construction logo, but it is missing the little triangle. That actually makes me kinda happy, because it doesn't even mean anything. Unless someone fed their cat on this thing. 

I'm going to have my [future] in-laws over and claim that my good dishes are in the washer and we have to use the CAT plate and C-3PO mug and we have to eat Vienna sausages. A perfect evening. 

Finally, we have a picture of incredible epicness.

That's right, folks, it's a drawing of the back of a shirtless guy thrusting a sword into the air. Two things I love about this picture: 1) someone took the time to actually draw it, and 2) someone took the time to actually frame it. I don't know where that places me, who actually took the time to buy it, but I'm not on trial here. I looked a little closer and noticed it didn't quite look hand drawn, so I took it apart.

It's definitely just a print. Not only that, but there are staple marks in it, the paper is cut uneven, and there are folds and wrinkles all over the page. Why this thing was in a frame, I did not know. Until I noticed the back of the frame had a $3 price tag which was clearly from a thrift store. I picked it up for $1.50, meaning they had to cut the price by 50% due to the cheesy drawing inside the frame. 

That picture reminds me of the super fantastic lamp I found at an antique mall a few months ago.

It is pretty epic, in every sense of the word. I think it is a viking or conquistador or something in a badass pose. It was a bit pricey so I didn't buy it, but upon looking at this picture again... I may have to go back. 

Anyway, lots more good thrift store art to come! And you should really consider signing up for my Thrift Store Pen Pals project :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thrift Store Pen Pals - Andrea!

This week's Thrift Store Pen Pal is Andrea from Onge's Musings (and Life with Tony, which I also recommend). I know I say this all the time, but I love all my blog-friends! :) The last couple weeks have been a bit slower in the thrift store world but Andrea did a great job with her thrift store items anyway, as I knew she would. Not that her items were bad - I still thought they were hilarious, hence the fact that I sent them - but maybe a bit more... challenging.

Andrea did an epically dramatic video review. I must say that I am particularly fond of her commentary, which she silently mouths in the video. For instance, Goldilocks is apparently a bitch. Curious about what that means? Find out by reading Andrea's review by clicking below!!

I'll need more Pan Pals soon, so just sign up, ya crazies!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Restroom Stall Foot Tapping :(

I moved to Northwest Arkansas almost a year ago for work and I was very nervous about moving here due to the stereotypical Arkansas stigma. When I got here I realized that the Northwest is the good section of the state and I don't have a lot to worry about. But over the weekend I got a small taste of Deliverance.

I went to a thrift store with my friend, David; the store is in a dying mall with very empty hallways and more empty rooms than stores. I had to use the restroom so I walked the halls until I found what was called "Restroom Road," which is a lobby area that has a few vending machines, tables, and chairs. The lights were dim and there was a trashy looking guy sitting at one of the tables. Here is Restroom Road:

It's pretty sketchy, but you can see the tables and chairs if you look closely. Anyway, while I was sitting there doing my business a guy entered the stall directly next to mine and dropped his pants and sat down as if nature were calling. But I never heard anything happen - perhaps he was constipated? I didn't really think anything about it and just play with my phone. While playing Words with Friends, I noticed his foot was clearly visible and he was tapping it in some weird pattern. Uh oh...

I suddenly remembered the connection between foot tapping and gay sex; a few years ago a senator, Larry Craig, got busted in a sting operation where he was trying to solicit some man-love by tapping his foot in the stall as the signal. After some research, I learned the tap-method: one person starts tapping, the other taps back, and eventually their feet touch and I guess they crawl under the stall and bang each other. Well I was not interested in that, thank you very much. 

I made every conscious effort to keep my feet still while trying to hurry as fast as I could. As I started pulling the toilet paper, my admirer could tell that I was about to get away and he started to get desperate. He put his entire foot under the stall into mine and started tapping like mad! It was his last chance. I should have stomped on his foot, but I didn't, I just kinda waited because I didn't want to walk out and have him pounce on me or something. He eventually just got up and left - guess he didn't have to go after all. 

On my way out, the same guy was sitting at a table in Restroom Road and, as I got a VERY clear look at the tapper's shoes, checked this guy's shoes, and they were definitely the same. I was very disturbed so I told David what had just happened. Against better judgement, he decided to use the restroom and see if he would be propositioned as well. Tappy went in after him! David didn't stick around to see what would transpire, which is probably a good thing. I was about to go in after him and avenge my friend, but he came out unscathed.

While highly unsettling, Tap Man is very intriguing. He must just sit there all day trying his little tap dance until he gets a bite, like he's fishing (for dudes). I thought that maybe he had a Craigslist ad saying something like, "Frisco Mall, 1 o'clock, tap lessons..." or something, but I checked and couldn't find anything. He just vultures around the dead mall, looking for love... It's almost sad if it weren't so molesty.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thrift Store Adventures: Interesting Mugs!

You may or may not have noticed that I have a strange attraction to interesting mugs. Probably because a mug is actually intended to be used, but I would find some mugs a little embarrassing to use. Ideally, a mug owner is supposed to be proud of his mug and drink coffee out of it at work every day. Anyway, here are a few mugs I've found recently that I thought were blog-worthy. 

At first I thought this mug was supposed to be C-3PO from Star Wars.

But then I didn't - the thing on this mug looks way too retarded. Then I went back and remembered what C-3PO looked like.

Oh. Well he looks super retarded too. So I guess this mug represents a retarded version of a retarded robot. Either way, I can't imagine drinking coffee out of this thing every morning. It has an I'm-very-disappointed-in-you look on its face, and I don't think I could handle that every morning. Perhaps that's the reason this mug was found in a thrift store; the previous owner got so depressed at C-3PO's mongoloid brother staring him in the face every morning that he committed suicide and his co-workers donated this mug. 

Here is the back:

I guess those are the stars that 3-DerpyO was at war with. 

This next mug features Smokey the Bear trying to use sex to sell mugs.

This is obviously a pun meaning that Smokey the Bear "puts out" forest fires, but also insinuates that he "puts out" sexually. I don't know about you, but the idea of getting frisky with a black bear is sort of terrifying - mostly because of furries

I also like this mug because they chose that particular drawing of Smokey. His face is showing one of two expressions: 

Shock: "Hey, Smokey, I'm going to make a mug with your face on it saying that you 'put out!' Ya know, like you're an easy lay. It'll be hilarious! Say 'cheese!'" *snaps picture of shocked and confused Smokey*

Anger [3 seconds after the picture is taken]: "If you put that picture of me on a mug that says 'I put out' I will literally set you of fire and 'put you out' with this shovel."

Finally, a mug we can all enjoy! 

This mug features the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles posing in front of a blue and orangish background. They are labeled as "Radical dudes..." Where does that ellipses take you, you ask? Well just inside the mug you see Leonardo and Donatello sticking their heads out of a manhole and it says "...fresh from the sewer!" So awesome. Here is the back:

Ahh, I love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - wait... what the heck is that? Does that say... "Teenage Mutant HERO Turtles??? That's not how I remember the song going. Clearly, my initial reaction was that this was a cheap knockoff, albeit a very high-quality knockoff, so I looked it up. Apparently, in the UK and some countries in Europe they had to change the name from Ninja to Hero because they thought that the word "Ninja" was too violent for children. That's about the stupidest thing I'd ever heard, but I guess they changed it in 2003. I'm very happy with my foreign Hero Turtles mug! :) 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thrift Store Pen Pals - Nicole!

This week's Thrift Store Pen Pal is Nicole from Jilted and Starting Over! I'm always impressed with the creativity of my Pen Pals, as I give no notes or instructions and simply send them a random item. I knew Nicole would do a great job because she just seemed so excited to be picked!

Her Pen Pal review is marvelous and creative. She gives possible explanations as to the origin of the item and she even adds her own touch to it! I think it is a good addition :) Click the picture or huge text below to read Nicole's review!!!

As always, if you'd like to participate in Thrift Store Pen Pals and show your creative side just click this link and leave a comment!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thrift Store Pen Pals - Received Gifts!

I got my first-ever Thrift Store Pen Pal item in the mail! A guy I met during my recent trip to Texas, James, and I became  friends; I told him about this blog and he liked my Thrift Store Pen Pals idea. He doesn't have a blog and so decided to send ME something random from the thrift store! This is a momentous day indeed, Dear Reader. This is what I found laying on my doorstep today:

What mysteries lie beneath its brownish manila exterior? Will it be some random thrift store purchase, or anthrax? There's only one way to find out...

James apparently knows how I like old things, because he got me a July 19, 1968 copy of Time Magazine and Hammond's Global Strategy Maps from the early '60s! I'm not exactly sure what the Global Strategy Maps are used for, but it looks cool!

The Time Magazine, entitled The Police and the Ghetto, has some pretty great advertisements, so I think I will mostly share those with you, along with my interpretation of a PSA I found within. There was one particular article, however, that caught my attention. The article was titled Modern Living: Black and White Dating and it was exactly what you think - an article about the "social phenomenon" of interracial dating. I understand this is from 43 years ago, but it is still pretty funny. Some of my favorite quotes:

  • "It's no longer avant-garde. It's just a little avante-garde."
  • "As one university counselor put it, with a measure of euphoria: "Discrimination is out of vogue. Black is no longer a color - it's a choice." [WTF?]
  • "Most parents almost anywhere are still deeply troubled if not outraged by it, and 'Guess who's coming to dinner, Mom?' is a line to frighten not a few households."
  • "...Robert Hall, a 20-year-old Seattle Negro whose skin is so black it is bluish..." [Haha, wow...]
  • "'Black cats consciously play with white chicks. It's a challenge. For him, the white woman is shrouded in mystery. She is revered, you dig?'" [I'm not making these up.]
  • "Many Negro girls say they are still haunted by the image of the white "massa" coming down the hill to take his pick of slave women."

That was just from me skimming through half the article, too. There were way more crazy quotes. At the end, they have a few pictures to give examples of this "phenomenon." 

I, personally, would date the guy in that last picture. Here is a random picture from some article that I found pretty funny.

Papadopoulos, who has an awesome name, was a Greek military guy. In that picture he is "dancing at a military base." Well I'd like to know exactly what kind of military base that is, because the soldiers look absolutely terrifying! If THESE daintily-clad men had stormed the beaches of Normandy, Saving Private Ryan would have a been a been a way different movie.

Okay, onto some advertisements. I can't help but show this ad:

They wouldn't be allowed to go to print nowadays; it is rife with sexual innuendos. Yeah, I bet she does make out better at both ends, perv. Now go ahead and show her your "Big Tip" (but just the tip). 

This next ad is pretty cool.

...until you realize what a Volkswagen Fastback is. It's this:

Fine, maybe it's not THAT bad. But the ad boasts its 65 horsepower engine is "powerful enough to make the fastback go 84 miles an hour." I guess you're not going Back to the Future in this thing. It also lists the price at $2179, which, depending on condition, is about what they're going for now.

Here's another great item, a printing calculator.

For the low, low price of $1495 you can have YOUR own electronic printing calculator! She's a beaut too, boy! I wish I'd have had this thing during my Fundamentals of Engineering exam! I looked up the price calculator now - they're around $14. I think they just moved the decimal back two places.

Finally, I found an awesome PSA for what to do when your kid drowns!

If you want to read it, click the picture to see it full size. Well I couldn't just let this PSA get away that easily, so I did what I'm best at and made a pervy PSA about making out with your girlfriend. The pictures just fit so well! Again, click the pictures to read the full size pages.

My MS Paint skillz are off the chain. I hope you all learned something.

So that's my review of the awesome Thrift Store Pen Pal item I received from my friend James! Thanks for sending it!!! I will totally send anyone a Thrift Store Pen Pal item, too, if you sign up! So you should do that by reading this and commenting!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Neighbor Kids, Precious Moments, and Rock Shows

Some of my more seasoned readers may know of my plight with the neighborhood kids; they throw redneck gang signs when I drive by, run out in front of my car, ruin my lawn mower, and set up retarded tire swings.

Recently, with the start of football season, I realized that pee-wee football practice takes place practically in my backyard. Directly beyond my fence is a large grassy area behind the elementary school administrative building. About 4 out of 5 days of the week the grassy area becomes crowded with redneck parent after redneck parent, each with lawn chairs and Snuggies. During scrimmages, the parents yell, hoot, and holler as if they are watching a real football game, although the kids are seriously like 5 years old. I get to hear all the cheering and whistle blowing all week. So that's fun.

The other neighborhood kids must have read my blog posts making fun of them because I have been finding "traps" around my duplex. I keep finding baseball-sized rocks in my driveway and in front of my mailbox, and today I found a big rock in my yard. I am assuming the purpose of these rocks for me to drive over them and ruin my car, or mow over them and ruin my lawn mower blades, but it is nearly impossible not to spot them. I'm almost certain it is the neighborhood kids because they are the only people I ever see in my neighborhood; I think they have killed all the adults and this is their warning for me to leave. Either way, I may be a nice guy, but I'm not afraid to murder a child.

Last weekend I went to Kansas with my awesome gf. On the way, there are a bunch of billboards for the Precious Moments Chapel in Cathage, Missouri. For those who don't know, yes you do - they are those horrible little figurines with the sad, sad eyes.

Every person in the Precious Moments world looks like a child, which is strange in itself, but look at that picture. It looks like someone out of frame is holding a gun to their heads and forcing them to "act natural" for a ransom picture. 

Well, despite our better judgement, we decided to stop at the Chapel and have a look around. At best, we'd get to see some creepy blog material. At worst, we'd become sex slaves in a dank, dark basement. Unfortunately, the museum was closed, but here is what you see when you walk into the chapel visitors' center.

That room is filled with giant animatronic Precious Moments figures. Their heads and arms move and it feels like they are watching you as you walk by... When you walk into the shops, you can buy whatever Precious Moments mementos you want. Walking further down the path we see this.

That's a statue of a giant baby holding a smaller, deader baby. Very creepy. We continued outside and followed the path, walking between rows and rows of terrifying figures smiling and waving at us, when we found the chapel.

It actually looks pretty cool from all the way back here. We got closer and the door was really intricate, so I took a picture.

There was some religious saying on the door I took a shot of, and I got some bonus sun rays! I didn't even mean for that to happen, but it turned out kinda cool. Perhaps it's a sign... a sign that I should leave. But instead, we went in. There were tons of Precious Moments paintings and crap all over the walls.

This place was a lot bigger than my phone's camera does justice. If you look closely, you'll see that the ceiling is covered in flying babies. That giant painting in the back there? Here it is close-up.

That's my special lady friend in front to compare size. She's like 10 feet in front of it, too. This thing was massive. If  you look, you'll see that the "Welcome" sign us upside down. That's creepy to me, kind of like an upside down cross or something. You can also find Jesus in there, if you look hard enough.

There was a LOT more to this place, but conveying the true amount of weirdness of this place would take more time than I'm willing to put in. The rest of the weekend was filled with friends and fun, and later on we found some pretty great thrift store stuff, but that will have to wait for another post.

Next subject.

On Monday, my gf asked me if I'd go to a concert with her the next night if she won tickets. I asked her how she could win tickets and she said that she'd have to listen to the radio and call in. So basically, I was not expecting to go the the concert. That seems like a super long shot. I got a phone call a couple hours later with a frantically excited girl on the other end saying she'd won the tickets she wanted! I was thoroughly impressed by this, as I have never heard of someone planning a night around such a slim possibility and it actually working in their favor.

The show was Blue October, who I hadn't heard of, but I love live music so I figured it would be fun regardless. The opener was a guitar-and-drum duo, IAMDYNAMITE, who fucking dominated. I didn't know so much energy and awesomeness could come from two people, but it was fantastic. 

Blue October was good, but a short, large Mexican guy kept grinding on me. I pushed him away several times and asked him to stop, but he kept rubbing up on me and messing with my hair. I don't think he was gay, but I am 98% sure he was on ecstasy. That whole thing ended with the guys next to me getting into it with him and security kicking him out. Everyone cheered. 

At the end of Blue October's set, they threw their picks and drumsticks to the crowd and my girlfriend got hit in the face with a pick. It was kind of awesome! I kind of wish she'd caught it in her mouth. 

As we were leaving, we saw the guys from IAMDYNAMITE mingling with the crowd, so we walked up and gave each of them big, sweaty bear-hugs. It was great :) We talked for a bit and they were super cool, and they even signed a bumper sticker and a CD I bought. Such a fun night! I'd never heard of them before last night, but from here on out, I'm sold.