Hell, I might attend it just to gloat…

This weekend, I headed up to my buddy Eric’s place to hang out, watch some movies and hit the Chiller convention.

For those who don’t know, the Chiller convention is a convention for horror fans held a couple times a year in New Jersey. They get a wide variety of guests and have a slew of vendors selling assorted horror related goods.

Let’s just say we won’t be going back to that particular convention.

Because it sucks.

This is the third time I’ve gone, and the third time I’ve been irritated with the complete lack of organization with that con. The cheap fucks pack as many people as they possibly can into an environment that is entirely too small for the number of people going. The only reason we went this year was because it was supposedly held at a bigger venue, which I guess it might have been, but there were still way to many people.

Now, if it were just a lot of people, I wouldn’t hold the people behind Chiller responsible, but it’s not just that. They don’t know how to run a show. I don’t know how long they’ve been at it, but on their site they have 16 shows listed. How is it that HorrorFind, a convention coming up to its 5th or 6th show, can run it a thousand times better than someone who’s done it at least three times that?

If you go to Chiller looking for a particular guest, forget about it. Not only are their guests all over the place, no one on the staff knows, exactly, where the guests are. I saw Bill Moseley, star of such greats as The Devil’s Rejects and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, in the vendor room. Erin “Joanie from Happy Days” Moran (don’t ask) was in a hallway. There were celebrities upstairs. There were celebrities downstairs. There were celebrities in tents (!) outside.

Chiller, go fuck yourselves.

It’s painfully obvious you don’t give a shit about either the guests or the fans. It’s the same story every year and every year you have some half-ass excuse on why your convention sucks. I’m a realist, and I don’t see you folding anytime soon. But if you don’t make an effort to clean up your act, I will be the first one celebrating when you have your final convention. Hell, I might even attend it just to gloat.

You, dear reader, will have to find the Chiller link yourself. Those chumps don’t deserve the promotion.

But, there was a bright side to all of this. For one, I got to hang out my friends Eric and Tom (who met us at the convo). So that was a good time. We got to bitch about chiller and the way it was run together, so we weren’t in it alone. Plus I my picture taken with The Ghost Hunters. One of the reasons I went. I had gone to get my picture taken with Anthony Michael Hall, too, but that is an ENTIRE ‘nother blog. Just wait for that bitchfest.

Tom and I almost called O & A for a midget sighting, but that would have been wrong. Plus there was no reception in the building.

After the convention, Tom, Eric and I grabbed some lunch at a diner, said our goodbyes and Eric and I headed to a Flyers/Penguins game where Philly promptly got whooped 8 – 2. Doesn’t matter though, as hockey is a fun sport to watch live if you have nothing vested in the teams (which I didn’t). Some dude for the Penguins scored a hat trick, and Eric tells me that will be something I can tell my grandkids I saw. I forgot the guy’s name, though.

Sunday, Eric and I had lunch with The Lesley before I headed home. This was the first time I met Lesley in “real life,” but we got on real well. I had a good time at lunch and, fortunately, I never felt that stupid ass awkwardness you have when you meet someone for the first time. Even though she did punch me in my arm FOR NO REASON!

We had lunch, she recommended a good cup of coffee (and lessoned me on how to order it), and I drove home.

All in all, except for the shitfest that is known as Chiller, a great weekend.

I’m a true fan.  Not like Ron!

Jason, myself and Grant. These guys rock.

Flyers and Penguins warming up.

The Flyers and Penguins warming up.

The Lesley and I

Me and The Lesley. I had to crop this one as my zipper was down. Sorry, ladies. And thanks for telling me, Eric and Lesley! 😡

She is family…

Back when I was a kid, I used to spend summers at my uncle’s and aunt’s house. One of the things my uncle managed to do every summer was scare the ever loving piss out of me, with all of the scares culminating to one big scare when I was about 11 where my dad walked in, having not seen me for a couple weeks, only to find me in the fetal position under the coffee table crying like a baby and shaking like a leaf. More on that another time.

Well, a couple years ago, the torch of being scared shitless by my uncle was passed from me to my nephew. And, more recently, my niece. She’s 10. Her time has come. And, for the first time, I had the pleasure in partaking of this time honored tradition.

The setup actually worked out pretty well. The night of the special occasion my aunt, uncle, pops, cousin, niece and I had hit a haunted tour in an old, supposedly haunted, castle. While she put on a good game face, we all knew my niece was at least a little creeped out.

When we got back to the house, my cousin went out with his friends and my uncle, aunt, pops and myself sat out on the porch to catch up on our lives and bullshit in general. My niece went upstairs to the guest room to watch TV.

After bs’ing for a while, the topic turned to whether or not to give the girl a scare. I was all for it. As was my uncle. My dad just laughed, as did my aunt. Those are “no’s” in my book. We set a plan. It wasn’t complicated, it wasn’t detailed, it was the old standby, proven to work time after time. Lights out, pantyhose on the head, flashlight on the face. Works every time.

My uncle went and got the pantyhose and flashlight, which he handed off to me. I placed it on my head and creeped up the steps (when you walk on the sides of the stairs, as opposed to the middle, there’s much less noise. My uncle headed the other direction toward the basement. I was simply going to wait for him to hit the breakers, then I was to make my move.

Soon enough, the lights went off, and I waited at the top of the stairs. You never want to jump in to early. You have let fear simmer for a little before you full on serve it. “Turn on the lights!” I heard my niece yell out.

I waited.

“TURN ON THE LIGHTS!”

Patience.

“TURN ON THE LIGHTS! THIS IS NOT FUNNY!”

I waited. She sounded more angry than scared, but that’s how she is. She’s a tough cookie.

“I’M NOT KIDDING! YOU BETTER TURN THEM ON!”

I counted to ten and jumped into the doorway, pantyhose over my head, flashlight under the chin. Not a word from my niece.

My uncle and I must have been on the same page, as at that moment the lights came on. My niece was just staring at me. There were two emotions: fear and annoyance. Annoyance I’m used to. Fear I’ve never seen. I almost felt bad.

“Did I scare you?” I asked.

She turned the tv on and started watching it. I guess I was dismissed.

I went downstairs and outside with the family. We all had a good laugh. Right after I came downstairs, my niece came down and started watching the tv that’s on the island in the kitchen. Where she could see all of us.

That’s where she fell asleep until my dad woke her up and told her it was time for bed. She made sure he was going upstairs, too, before she went herself.

Yeah. We definitely got her.

My sister, Joy, gave me an ear full the next day on the way home. Trying to inform me that “she’s just a little girl” and wondering if I “felt big now, picking on a little girl.”

I explained to Joy that not only did I feel big, but that my niece was not a little girl. She is family. And it’s family tradition to scare the shit out of each other when we are at my uncle’s. It’s not out of meanness, it’s out of love. If we didn’t love our niece, we wouldn’t do it. Joy knows this. She was part of it. She did it to me.

It’s the circle of life.

You have to sing that, you know…

I went to my aunt and uncle’s house this past weekend and had a grand time, as usual.

However, while there are stories to tell about the trip (including me getting my “Uncle of the Year” award revoked), I wanted to quickly jot down something very cool I heard on the way home.

I have XM radio, and I cannot speak highly enough of it. Everytime I go on a long trip, I am thankful for this excellent piece of technology. I often hear non-owners of XM (or Sirius, depending on your preference) say that it’s a waste of money. Radio is free! Why should they pay for it?

Odds are, these same people pay for cable tv. (Ironically enough, I know a guy that doesn’t have cable TV, but has XM radio).

One of the best things about satellite radio, no matter which one you have, is commercial free music. Not only commercial free, but very light DJing. Hell, why do you need a DJ when the song title and artist comes on your display?

Another great thing about satellite radio is you never have to change the station. I drove hundreds of miles last weekend and I had the option of listening to the same station in Pennsylvania as I did in Maryland. The only time I went to terrestrial radio was to listen to the Redskins not show up to a game they should have won.

I could go on and on about XM, but I’m going away from the point.

As we were driving home Sunday, I put on channel 08. That is the 80s channel (not the classic rock channel, thank God). Imagine my surprise to hear America’s Top 40 with Kasey Kasem. The year? 1984.

Holy shit.

Apparently, on Sundays, 80s on 8 plays reruns of Kasey Kasem’s America’s Top 40. I was reliving a whole slew of memories on the way home. When I was growing up, I always listened to Americassssssssss top fooorrrrrrtiiessssssssss!

You have to sing that, you know. You just can’t say it.

I might take me a drive this Sunday.

Then the bottom dropped out…

For my past birthday, a friend of mine bought me a stellar Tivoli radio. This is, hands down, one of the best radios I’ve ever had because its reception is so damn good. It uses super smart technology to get the best reception available and, believe me, it does. All without the use of an antenna.

Since I put it next to my bed, the thing never goes off, and about once a month I screw around with it to change up the radio station. Two months ago it was soul, last month it was some spanish station and this month… Well, let’s talk about that.

About two weeks ago, I was hunting around for a new station, when I stopped on a song by The Cars. I dig them, so I let it go. After The Cars, they played U2. Then some Police, Def Leppard and Queen.

Okay, I thought, I can dig this. So I let it go for a couple days. And I quickly started digging this station. It seemed, with a few exceptions, every song they played I liked. Hell, one night I heard The Pretenders followed by Peter Gabriel. I was loving it.

Then the bottom dropped out.

One night, as I was drifting off to sleep listening to this new found favorite station, I heard something that bolted me awake. Their call letters.

(Que announcer guy voice here)

94.7 The Capital. Your home for classic rock.”

Classic rock?!?!?

What the hell?

DEF LEPPARD IS NOT CLASSIC ROCK.
PETER GABRIEL IS NOT CLASSIC ROCK.
THE CARS ARE NOT CLASSIC ROCK.

I suddenly realized I was listening to a classic rock station that wasn’t playing The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

And, even though I cried myself to sleep that night, I still listen to 94.7. My home for classic rock.