Saturday, November 10, 2012

Halloween Milk

It's November 10th and we're still talking about Halloween.  And really, why not?  So many people throughout the country have been affected in so many different ways this Halloween.  Between now and Thanksgiving, there's nothing but a lull anyway.  Sure, there are some who have already embraced the Christmas season and have moved past spooky things.  But, for others, this is down time before we feast.  So, again, due to my own personal circumstances and those who missed out on Halloween, we're gonna keep on truckin'.  I have at least two more quality posts to write before we put this season to bed.  With Thanksgiving only 12 days away, and Christmas right around the corner, that should bridge nicely between one Holidaze and another.

Seasonal milks seem to be the new fad as of recently.  Last year, we found the Red Velvet Holiday milk at Target.  Now this year, we find TruMoo Holiday milk at Wal-Mart in both Vanilla and Chocolate flavors.  There are two cool aspects to these.  First, the label art is great!  TruMoo could have gone with a more "Fall" approach and last on shelves longer, but they chose "Halloween" and that couldn't be any more perfect.  Not only did they make a ghoulish logo for "TrueMoo," but they made two separate labels for each flavor.  So Vanilla features a spooky pumpkin and tombstone, while chocolate brings us the haunted house, ghost, and "No Trespassing" type sign.

But the coolest part?  The fact that Vanilla TruMoo is colored Orange.  That's enough!  That was the selling point for me!  Had it been white, I would have kept walking.  But they did a great job.

Now, in the past, I've complained about the lack of decorative Halloween boxes from Kellogg's.  It's not because I hate Kellogg's, it's just that I know what they're capable of and hate seeing the holidays go to waste.  Throw a mask on Tony the Tiger, and we're good to go.  Add in a few Halloween marshmallows, and I'm set for a season.  

Last year, I didn't find any Halloween cereal boxes from Kellogg's, but this year is a different story.  Pictured above, we have plain old regular Rice Krispies and Cocoa Krispies, but they're in their Halloween costumes for the year!  The graphics are awesome and even if they didn't add in any special treats, it's good enough.  Especially when you want to add your Halloween Milk into Halloween Cereal.  See where I'm going with this?

Rice Krispies in Orange Vanilla TruMoo Milk tastes a lot better than it looks.  It looks like the milk went bad or, at the very worst, that you're about to eat chunky vomit.  Sorry for the graphic detail, but believe me, it's really good!  It may not look like your typical bowl of cereal, but who wants that on Halloween, anyway?  Throw some orange in there and change it up.  Look for this next year and give it a try!

This one really didn't make any difference.  Chocolate milk definitely have a different taste than that of regular milk or even the milk that becomes chocolate by the time you're done with Cocoa Krispies, but it wasn't very noticeable.  I guess you could say it tasted much more chocolatey from the start, rather than the bowl progressing as time goes on, but either way, it's really good.  Plus, it looks dark and evil like that haunted house on the label so that helps.

My only regret was not mixing the orange milk in with the chocolate Cocoa Krispies.  How did I overlook that?  Even if that tasted like garbage, that makes for the perfect Halloween color combo!  I'll have to remember to up my game next year!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Times Scare

Well before the Hurricane hit, my Girlfriend, my Cousins, and I took the train over to NY for a night out at "Times Scare."  I read about this online and I was excited to check it out because it provided two main attractions that I was interested in.  The first was the Haunted House.  I'll never turn down a good Haunted House and, because this Times Scare attraction is open all year-round, I figured this one would be amazing.  Plus, it also featured the "Crypt Cafe."  That's what I was really excited about.  It was a Halloween-themed restaurant.  How is that not a good time?

The Crypt Cafe was up first.  When we sat down at our Medical Slab tables (great touch) we waited for our waitress while I snapped that picture.  What is it?  That's the kitchen.  That's where the food was cooked and came out from.  How cool is that?  It's like our food was made by a demonic butcher.  It looks red, it looks plastic, it looks bloody.  Things were starting off great!

We weren't particularly hungry, but we wanted to at least try the appetizers.  Let me tell ya, the service here was pretty horrible.  Our waitress was nice and seemed to be doing as much as she could, but they were sooo slowww.  It was like they forgot all about us for 30 minutes.   We weren't in a rush, so it wasn't much of a problem, plus I'm not one to complain, but it was definitely something we took notice of.  If you're open all year-round, you should probably be on point.  I can't imagine it being easy to pay rent in Times Square when you're primarily a Halloween attraction.

Pictured above, we have the "Bat Wings," which were basically chicken wings.  They look burnt, but they weren't.  They were died black to appear as if they're bat wings.  It was a nice touch and, overall, they tasted pretty good.  But to be honest, I was more interested in drinking at that point.  They had really cool options on the menu.

So, as soon as these monster nachos came out, covered in just about everything you could imagine, we narrowed down our alcoholic choices and planned on living it up in New York City.  The drinks were probably the main reason I decided to mention the Crypt Cafe to my dynamic duo and, specifically, it was this Embryoelectroplasma shot.  It looks evil, it looks demonic, it looks disgusting, it looks like Halloween!!

My girlfriend had no interest in drinking underdeveloped babies, but my cousin and I had to give this a "shot."  These twins were meant to be thrown back, regardless of what they tasted like.  The menu said it was fruit with a hit of peach schnapps so we weren't expecting anything strong, but still, what were those "babies" made out of?  It looks like Kahlua or Bailey's, but there was only one way to find out.

Well, let me tell you, I have no idea what those babies were, but they were gross and chunky.  I have a rule that once you start taking a shot, you can't stop.  If you don't know what you're about to drink, then you either turn it down or go all the way.  There's no in between.  Well, as soon as I swallowed that first chunk, I knew the next three swigs were going to be just as rough.  It was horrible.  It wasn't the flavor, it was the texture.  The fruity blood at the bottom tasted great, but it wasn't easy getting there.  I think it's safe to say that I'll never take this shot again, but it was one of the highlights of my night and I'm glad we did it for Halloween.

Do you know what that is?  That's Absinthe! I've heard crazy things about Absinthe and I always wanted to try it.  I know it was outlawed in The United States until recently because of it's hallucinogenic inducing abilities (no idea if that made sense) but it's here now and I was excited to try it.  Apparently it's 120 proof and helped Edgar Allan Poe write his creepy classics.  I was ready to throw it back and start writing cryptic tales of birds and murder.  But first, it had to be prepared. 

Once it was ready, my cousin Phil and I were ready to go. My girlfriend sat this one out and chose to go with a safer drink of choice, but she changed her mind later that night, anyway.

The smell was intense and the aroma was really throwing me off.  It smelled like licorice and I realllly hate licorice.  Friends of mine told me how great this tastes and how much they liked it, but I'm guessing they like licorice because that's exactly what this was.  This was like somebody melted a black string of licorice, dyed it green, and told me to drink it for a hallucination.  The result?

They say a picture says a 1,000 words, and It's safe to say this one says at least that much.  My cousin Phil (in the yankee hat) looks like he just drank gasoline.  He looks like his life has come to an end.  Me?  All I can do is stare at him with the look of despair.  As if to say "Did we seriously just drink that?"  I think my eyebrows actually say more.  "Do we really have THIS much left before it's over?"  Yeah, it was that bad.  I hated it, but I loved what it represented and what it was supposed to do.  I didn't wind up seeing any Ravens, but, regardless of what our mugs say, it provided a nice feeling for the night.  

It looks pretty or, in the case of Halloween, it looks spooky.  Ya can't beat drinking a lime green drink at any time of the year.  But don't let it fool you, it looks so much better than it tastes and, for that reason, multiple photos were necessary.

My girlfriend ordered her own Absinthe after we did and it wasn't quite as strong.  Trust me, it didn't taste any better, but didn't hit as hard as the first two.  If, for nothing else, it makes for a great picture of my beautiful lady with a classic drink. 

We went a different route in our pose.  We wanted to warn you all that this drink is serious.  It's out to get you.  If you don't like licorice, it will attack your taste buds and demolish your throat on the way down.  It's dangerous and, for Halloween, what else could you ask for?  In all seriousness, it's a fun drink for October.  I'd drink it again and really push it's potential, but I'd rather a different flavor.  How about, instead of licorice, we go with Strawberry Twizzlers?  Same family, different impact.  Make it happen, Lucid!

It was now time to move on to the Haunted House so we got in line and waited about 45 minutes before getting inside.  Outside, they had a few characters walking around, but nothing like Blood Manor.  They did things right, inside and out.  Times Scare was a disappointment, but their decorative items throughout the halls were impressive.  Unfortunately, that was about as impressive as it got in terms of Haunted Houses.


When a building is completely decorated, from floor to ceiling, with realistic spider webs, a monstrous  Sistine Chapel, fake dirt and rust, you assume that the performances inside will be just as awesome.  I really wish I could say they were, but I was let down.  Most of the time, we walked through empty rooms, without any actors at all, only to find poorly decorated rooms with little to no props.  I don't get it.  You're open all year round, so why not put more effort into your main event?

To top things off, this guy popped out from his eternal slumber and stole my girlfriend.

Eh, he seems kinda skinny to me..

Seriously, to conclude, I wouldn't go to Times Scare again.  It has sooo much potential that you find yourself cheering the place on, just hoping that they would reach the brass ring and become one of the greats, but it lets you down just when you think it's going to be great.  I give it a 6 out of 10 and, in my book, that's failing.  I wouldn't recommend it to anybody, but I'd definitely have you check out the Crypt Cafe for the awesome Halloween drinks.  But that's it.  Don't buy any tickets, don't waste your money, just drink.. then go to Blood Manor.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halloween is Over?

It's unfortunate, but the Halloween Holidaze did not end the way I wanted it to.  Due to Hurricane Sandy, I was left without power in Jersey City.  Believe me, that is nothing compared to the damage Sandy inflicted on the Jersey Shore, Queens, Manhattan, Hoboken, and Staten Island.  There are people left without homes and, in the worst cases, there are those who lost loved ones.  Going through 7 days without the capabilities of posting a blog about Halloween is, understandably, the least of anybody's concerns.

For the rest of the country, Halloween went as planned.  I was fortunate enough to enjoy the weekend prior to October 31st, but we were hit that Monday and, for the first time in my life, Halloween was officially canceled.  There was nothing we could do and canceling was the right thing to do.  To make it up to the kids and 25-year-old nerds, Governor Christie reschedule Halloween for yesterday, November 5th.  That would have been great if I had any way of enjoying it.  I was working and completely missed out on the second Halloween of 2012.  It's not that bad, really, because I start celebrating so early anyway.  But, I still refuse to accept that Halloween is over.  How could it be?

I didn't watch any Halloween or Friday the 13th movies, I didn't make any Halloween cupcakes, and I barely lived up the last two weeks of October.  Nope, sorry Sandy, Halloween isn't over until I say it is.  I have a few more posts left in the arsenal.  And since I'm nowhere near ready for Christmas, I'm going to extend Halloween even further!

I understand if my Holidaze readers don't want to take part in any more of the season.  If you were able to enjoy the day in peace, you may be ready to move on from Halloween and on to Thanksgiving.  But if you want to enhance the Holidaze and make it longer, join me in saying "Screw you, Sandy" and get ready for a few more Holidaze posts.  I promise I'll throw 'em all at ya quick and fast so we can put this one behind us and get ready for another.

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