Welcome to Haddonfield, Illinois: Halloween

So yeah SiriusXM has this horror channel Scream Radio whose programming includes popular mainstream hits (Thriller!), beloved sound effects and of course scary score music like the iconic Halloween theme song.

I drop by the channel every so often because tis the season. Today though I caught the beginning of Carpenter’s Halloween theme song. At first I was like oh hell no and I reached out to the dial but I paused before switching away.

Then I pulled my hand away.

Partly to face my fears: tis the season right?

But really I was driving and I’ve never heard that song while driving. Driving defines a lot of popular music: there’s something about that action of getting in your car even if you’re just driving to the dentist that makes a song truly pop. Especially in the Summer…windows down system up.

Sometimes when I hear a brand new song I think it’s fun but I wanna hear it while I’m driving. Driving is like melted cheese. I dunno why but it just makes it taste better. And road trips are of course synonymous with playlists.

So feeling as dumb as the big breasted chick in a tight white tank top going down to investigate that strange sound from the basement I left the Halloween theme song on.

Only I was driving through suburban neighborhoods. Through 2 school zones which meant slowing down. This chilled wind sailed through the trees plucking Fall tinted leaves so they swirled in the air in large sweeping circles like a drunk Superman. A young lady was out for a walk with her dog…it was all normal and yet so eerie…cruising. Driving slowly through the hood.

It felt way too menacing.

Fun Fact? “John Carpenter showed Halloween to an executive before it was finished. He showed the movie without the music. The executive didn’t find it to be scary at all. After the film was released, and she saw it, she changed her mind, an indication of how much Carpenter’s score adds to the film’s atmosphere.”

Nah man that was unsettling like eating slightly spoiled Subway. I now understand why a tagline for the 78 original was: “everyone is entitled to one good scare.” Indeed. Never doing that again even if it’s tis the season.

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Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.

A Child’s Play With His Father…

Watching live TV: My Dad came across Chucky TV show commercials…he’s never been a fan of magic or ventriloquism or horror. He sighed.

So I RSVPed this opportunity to make him feel better: “Oh: it’s not ventriloquism! Chucky is a doll imbued with the maniacal soul of a serial killer.”

A beat.

As we go through life we all have moments where we say things out loud we wish we could take back. Sometimes even as we’re saying em. I misread the situation…this was clearly NOT a teaching moment.

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Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.

Smell Ya Later 2020

Well: that’s all she wrote for 2020.

What a strange year…still early to tell if it was a good year or a terrible year. It was something…odd.

The usual weddings and funerals were sandwiched between lockdowns and sports going on hiatus. The commute to work was replaced by a daily constitutional. (Does that phrase mean pooping?)

We ran outta things to talk about because we didn’t do much: nobody travelled (well all that much…) or went to the movies (I did manage to see Tenet: so confusing…) or have celebrity encounters (what is gonna happen to fame in 2021?!).

Lotta times this year was like being at a party where you don’t know anybody and all the talk is small.

Still as almighty American Elvis says: TCB in 2021.

Taking Care of Business…may your schemes and dreams take flight; get others into the limelight and duck should you find yourself in a gun fight.

On To The Next One!

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Merry Christmas (2020)

So here we are: Merry Christmas. To paraphrase James Gordon: “Because this is the Christmas we got, but not the one we want right now.” Though as you can see the sign by the tree: “Unwrap Infinite Possibilities.” That’s about all you can do each and every day, right? The Choice Is Yours.

Hopefully you get to spend time time and be sarcastic with the ones you love. Because distance doesn’t affect sarcasm.

And if Santa was good to you…well: that’s disappointing.

The coolest people are often on the naughty list. I’m literally hanging out with the wrong people. Sigh.

Guess that’s what New Year’s Resolutions are for…make more friends with the naughty list crew.

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Championship Ignorance

Sometimes you know something yet you really don’t know something.

In the NBA the Championship Trophy is called the Larry O’Brien. Right? Common knowledge.

It’s named after commissioner Larry O’Brien who expanded and fortified the NBA from 1975 to 1984: just as Jordan was coming in and David Stern was taking over.

I believe most people know that.

What I just clued in was that’s the same Larry O’Brien who had an office in the Watergate complex: it was broken into on June 17, 1972 which ultimately led to the resignation of President Nixon. Yeah!

The penny finally dropped reading Pete Croatto’s fascinating NBA book: From Hang Time to Prime Time: Business, Entertainment, and the Birth of the Modern-Day NBA.

I dunno why I’ve been pantslessly wandering this earth thinking those were 2 different Larry O’Briens.

Sometimes you know something yet you really don’t know something. And knowing is half the battle.

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My 1950s Submarine Dream

I had the strangest dream.

I dreamt that a bunch of us were trapped on a submarine (the watercraft vessel, not the sandwich food; this is a dream so either scenario makes sense. But yes the Navy submersible.).

Only on this submarine each of the rooms was decorated like a Leave It to Beaver 1950s style living room. Imagine the Wonder Years house mashed into a submarine.

And I was in this 1950s living room (in a submarine) on a couch trying to read a book and sip my tea when this strange woman kept pacing and panicking because we were all going to die. She was convinced we were trapped and we were running out of time and air.

Her panic was deeply obnoxious and unnecessary so I sighed and left the room. I got up with my book and my tea to the next room yet another 50s style living room and there was a 10-year-old kid on the floor playing video games on a handheld device with no headphones.

That’s it. When I awoke that’s all I remember. I ah…understand there’s some sexual connotations to dreaming about a submarine but the rest I haven’t a clue what any of that means.

I recently switched cereals…I ate a large bowl of Sugar Crip before bed. Could that be to blame?

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The Library Is A Hell Of A Drug

After months of being separated, the Library and I reunited. And it feels so good. Cause we understood.

Only now the experience is like a cop TV show/Colombian cartel movie drug deal.

At the appointed date and time—you get a time and a date when the deal is going down. When your shipment has come in.

I step up to the table, make eye contact and wordlessly place my library card on the table and take 2 steps back.

She takes 2 steps forward, looks down at my card and she looks up at me: scanning. I’m not carrying a wire or heat: either a gun or coronavirus fever.

She nods. I nod back.

We good. She has the stuff and is willing to give it to me. Which is a deep relief because I’ve been jonesing since I quit cold turkey back in mid-March.

I step up to the table, make eye contact, and wordlessly place my library card on the table and take 2 steps back making eye contact the entire time.

It’s not said but I know: Make. No. Sudden. Movements.

I’m nervous. I wanna make a “joke” to evict the tension. I can feel a drop of sweat slowly sliding down my back like a lover’s gentle one finger caress.

I take two steps forward maintaining eye contact, in one sweeping motion grab the bag and grab the card turn and walk briskly to my car. In the car, I tear open the bag and yep…that’s the stuff.

Smells so good. I exhale. I didn’t realize I was holding my breath this whole time. I start the car thinking this should tide me over but the Library and I know…that’s not true. I’ll be back.

They got the stuff I want.

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In Bowie’s Space

A couple of years ago I was so fortunate to get a NASA JPL tour from Krys Blackwood! Just Wow: it was an incredible experience. (is…present tense)

In this one building’s lobby on this NASA campus was a wall of photos surrounding the word Disruptors.

The photos were the usual dynamic creators you’d expect from NASA Nerds: Carl Sagan, Captain Kirk (“Risk is our business!”) and yet in the corner was Prince (YES!!) and off to the side was oh! the following David Bowie image.

That brilliant and talented individuals who’re actively working to literally get us to Mars (where there is hopefully no spiders!) see Bowie daily is astonishing. Your focus is your fate!

In life and in death and in space and on Earth Bowie galvanizes us all. He remains missed.

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Poop O’clock

Back to the land of people, passwords and ugh…pants. #DownWithPants

Even though my Poop Schedule is still on Vacation Time.

I may struggle silently but at least I do not struggle alone.

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My Birth: A Big Bang Story

Indeed today is my birth day.

I’ve spent over 4 decades soaked in popular culture across every single medium: as such I would like to thank some of the special creators and wonderful things that enriched my life and probably made me too quirky to sit with at lunch in high school.

My deep and endless thanks go to…

Forrest J Ackerman, Roger Corman, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Stephen King, Lon Chaney, Mad Magazine, Ian Fleming and James Bond, Zorro, The Shadow, quicksand, The Batman, Bugs Bunny, Frank Sinatra, The Invisible Man, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes, Quantum Leap, The Muppet Show, The Planet of the Apes, Spider-Man, Thriller, Ray Harryhausen, Wonder Woman and Lynda Carter, Carol Burnett, Edgar Allan Poe, Harry Houdini, The A-Team, SETI, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Jerry Lewis, Back to The Future, arcades and pinball machines (especially Indiana Jones!), Carl Sagan, The Lone Ranger, Knight Rider, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Richard Matheson, Flash Gordon, Run DMC, Beastie Boys, Doctor Who, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Scooby-Doo, The Outer Limits, Invaders from Mars, secret passages triggered by pulling a dummy book, The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, James Dean, Mork and Mindy, Jules Verne, freak shows at the circus, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Dean Koontz, The Iron Giant, The Rolling Stones, Alfred Hitchcock, The Three Investigators, Elvis, Errol Flynn, Ray Bradbury, NASA, David Copperfield, X-Men, The Six Million Dollar Man, Sean “Bond” Connery, Darth Vader and R2-D2, funhouses and haunted houses, Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen, (the Dukes of Hazzard & the Fall Guy), Sue Grafton, Batman 66, death traps, Chuck D and Public Enemy, Super Friends, Fonzi, Spider-Man 67, Souls of Mischief, C.S. Lewis, Freddy Krueger, The Hardy Boys, Michael Jackson, The Black Museum, Orson Welles, Transformers, G.I. Joe, The Amazing Kreskin, X-Files, Bruce Springsteen, Rocket Robin Hood, Aliens, Defenders of the Earth, The Simpsons, Gilligan’s Island, Star Trek, Terminator, zombies and Halloween (the night…the movies less so.).

I have lived an astonishing life: I’ve travelled in time, saved the universe on numerous occasions, been to planets beyond our star system and encountered aliens: some friendly, many hostile…occasionally some are green and horny.

I’ve guarded secrets, foiled schemes, solved mysteries and seen more than my share of dead bodies. I’ve lost friends: good solid men and stoic women; not many of them have come back.

I don’t fear death and risks no longer intimidate me.

I know no matter how bad it gets; no matter how much darkness threatens me, no matter how big the monster is…no matter how outrageous the odds are…I know…I know…I know there is always a way and that’ll it work out. After I’ve been knocked down I don’t get up as quickly as I did in my youth but dammit I still get up. I have an obligation: I didn’t just hang out with these creators and these superheroes to just surrender the present and allow the triumph of catastrophe!

“I’ve watched my wild youth

Disappear in front of my eyes

Moments of magic and wonder

It seems so hard to find

Is it ever coming back again?

Is it ever coming back again?

Take me back to the feeling when

Everything was left to find…”

It has been and continues to be A Wonderful Life with so many Wonder Years. And as long as there are stars to maps and planets to catalog it’s irritating to live with gravity and all that keeps us down.

Now: where the cake at?

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