The Boy with the Rubber Guts

There’s a reason I don’t go to haunted houses anymore. It’s partly because I know how they work, but it’s mostly because I suspect there are other kids out there like the boy with the rubber guts.

In the 1980’s me and my friends went to plenty of haunted houses. My friends Dale and Daryl always turned their garage into a neighborhood haunted house, hanging sheets from the ceiling to make a maze – they loved it.

My Dad’s Masonic Lodge in Riverdale had a hugely successful haunted house that drew crowds from all over Atlanta.  There were always huge lines and the crowds grew longer as the night went on. I vividly remember that they had one room where you walked across a swinging bridge strung over a bottomless pit… inside a HOUSE no less!!! It was a simple yet terrifying and amazing Continue reading The Boy with the Rubber Guts

I Survived the 2018 Dragon Con Parade

This is a post about hygiene, playing cruel tricks on your friends, and the Dragon Con parade. Let’s begin with that last one.

This year marked the 13th year that our “cardboard stormtroopers” marched in the Dragon Con parade in one form or another. I had to skip last year’s march due to a nasty cold I contracted at Play On Con 2017, but this year I was back in the mix – albeit well out of shape and without a solid plan once the parade was over –  I have learned through experience that my body is in charge of things from that point Continue reading I Survived the 2018 Dragon Con Parade

Robby Hilliard Awarded 2018 Reinhardt Award

This weekend my friend Robby Hilliard was presented with the prestigious Hank Reinhardt Fandom Award, ostensibly for his service to Dragon Con’s Filk Track where he has served as Director, but also for his contributions to fandom in general. Robby is a ding-dang, top-notch, A#1 Nerd, and I’m glad to know him.

In case you got hung up on the word ‘Filk’ in the previous paragraph, all you need to know is that it’s a musical genre featuring lyrics with sci-fi/nerd-centric themes, and is associated with Continue reading Robby Hilliard Awarded 2018 Reinhardt Award

Saying Goodbye to The Bandit

My friend Katie Willard Troebs called me today and told me that Burt Reynolds was in heaven with JL, a legendary transportation captain we all knew and loved.  We lost JL nearly a year ago.  JL and his wife Cindy were longtime friends with Burt and have several hysterical tales of regular life incidents with him.  After Katie and I ended our call I began thinking back to the spring of 2010, when I was struck by a sudden, inexplicable nostalgia for the movie Smokey and the Bandit.

Sure, I enjoyed the movie when I was growing up, but I was more of a Star Wars kid which made it kind of odd that I suddenly felt compelled to track down a copy of the original soundtrack from the movie.  At that time I couldn’t find the album in an MP3 format, so I ordered an old CD from someone on eBay.  It was crazy, but the only deal I found was from some dude over in England.  That’s right, England.  When the package made it across the ocean I cut open the envelope only to discover that I had paid for Continue reading Saying Goodbye to The Bandit

26 Things Not to Touch at Dragon Con

After dancing dangerously close to telling Dragon Con to “get off my lawn” over the past few years I have turned a corner and am now finding joy in people who are new to the convention scene.  If I had only one piece of advice to give to these people it would be “stay hydrated”.  Adequate hydration is part of the formula for maintaining your body’s immune system, making it far less susceptible to illness and injury. My second piece of advice would be “don’t touch anything” from the following list.

#26 People

Duh. Don’t get near them. People are the number one cause of disease among humans. Look it up. I am correct about this. Just stay away from them. They will only sneeze on you, attempt to lick you, or break your heart. Generally they will attempt to do all three in that order.  People are as bad as they sound so get ready to hear an awful lot about them and the things they do in this article.

#25 Elevator Buttons

They’re round, they’re shiny, they light up when you push them, and they will take you back to your room so that you can change into your next costume. Guess what? Lots of people like to use these buttons. A whole lot.  Records indicate that a single button in the west bank of elevators in the Marriott Marquis was pressed 832,729 times between Continue reading 26 Things Not to Touch at Dragon Con

Stone Mountain’s Secret Twin

I was driving home last week talking (hands free, mind you) to a friend over in Charleston who informed me that he was considering a getaway to Stone Mountain… in North Carolina. To a native Atlantan like me that last sentence didn’t make any sense because we all know that Stone Mountain is clearly Continue reading Stone Mountain’s Secret Twin

How I Stopped Freaking Out About the Atlanta Comic Con

This past Saturday I was lured downtown by my friend Shawn, who insisted that we needed to check out the new Atlanta Comic Con.  I first heard about the event on Facebook a week or so ahead of time, and naturally wondered if it was connected to the 48 year old media-rich convention held in San Diego every summer (it isn’t).

As you get older you tend to have more responsibilities, so carving out the time for an unknown event like this wasn’t on the top of either of our lists. We had decided to check in with each other that morning to decide if Continue reading How I Stopped Freaking Out About the Atlanta Comic Con

The Southside Bar & Grill in Helen

This is a new installment in my series of posts over the years about by experiences on the movie Black Dog, which shot in Georgia and North Carolina. The lead photo was originally posted by user Python423 over on AdvRider.com back in 2007.

Second unit turned into a fighting unit once we made a company move to Helen to shoot some big truck stunts. Suddenly we were all out-of-towners and while we tried out all the local restaurants, a bar called The Southside Bar & Grill became our crew’s main hangout.

“The Southside Bar and Grill on the southern end of Main St. offers karaoke and live bands during the week and entices with big-screen TVs and pool tables (not to mention a tasty, casual menu).” – TripAdvisor.com

“Tasty, casual menu” my ass – we shot there almost five years before TripAdvisor even existed, and that place was a Continue reading The Southside Bar & Grill in Helen

Aints and Uncles: My Southern Thing

I can’t exactly remember the first time I heard someone refer to their parent’s sister as an “Ont”, but I was probably still a kid and it was probably said by a character on a television show. It might have been All in the Family or The Jeffersons, but in my heart I know that it was actually Continue reading Aints and Uncles: My Southern Thing

The Balkanization of Episodic Television

According to my social media feeds there are now MORE episodic series in production than there are people living in the ACTUAL United States. If you are like me, you have observed your friends posting about “TV shows” that you have NEVER EVEN HEARD OF BEFORE.

Sally posts “Oh I really enjoyed this week’s episode of Nuzzled!” while Petey posts “The season finale of Continue reading The Balkanization of Episodic Television