Free Comic Book Day, Saturday, May 6, 2017

Today marked one of the upmost important adventures of our relationship; Free Comic Book Day! The ultimate nerdgasm for all of us dorks in the world, and we got to share this together. So we drove over to the Lindenwold Station to hop on PATCO into the City of Brotherly Love to comic shop hop on one of the most popular geek days of the year!

We managed to hit up four shops in Philly and then two in South Jersey. This adventure will account each store and our experiences at each of them. Enjoy!

Stop #1 Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse: Located at 2578 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the Kensington Section of Philadelphia.

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse is an amazing gem in this up and coming section of the city.  They specialize in comics, toys & figurines, games, comic related magazines, apparel, coffee & espresso related beverages, and baked goods.

Amalgam is one of the only places Mike and I ventured to that actually did Free Comic Book Day to cater to the fandom. They had all of the free comics being offered with minimal limitations on what you are able to take. Also in the back of the store they had a few vendor tables of locals selling their crafts and art, all geek related of course!

I even had an amazing dialogue with one of the staffers about The Vampire Diaries, The Originals AND Riverdale.

After perusing around Amalgam, Mike sent for our Uber to get us to the next stop. Our driver was the coolest dude ever. His name was Shaun Paul. He pulled up in his Kia Soul with the speakers pumping out funk and jazz. He was an interesting character with an upbeat and friendly personality. Usually our asses cringe when we have a chatty driver, but this guy was awesome; wearing a worn leather jacket and a Jeff cap over his shoulder length shaggy hair.

Shaun Paul dropped us off at the next stop, and we were on our merry way.

Stop #2 Ontario Street Comics: Located at 2235 East Ontario Street in the Port Richmond Section of Philadelphia.

Ontario was always one of my favorite places to go when I resided in Northeast Philadelphia. This shop has an old school flea market type appeal about it, and has more than comic books. If you are looking for any type of old toy or WWF, yes WWF action figure than Ontario is the place to go. The staff is always friendly and chatty as well. They are not your typical geek douchers that act like they know it all.

For Free Comic Book Day they had Batman and Harley Quinn there mingling with the customers. They also offered all of the free comics with a reasonable limitation of 6 per customer, not too shabby. While there I also nabbed The Walking Dead trade paperbacks I needed.

As we were walking out Mike noticed a little nook of the store that had DVDs; you know he and I weren’t leaving there until he was sure there was nothing there that he needed.

After his fix he summoned our Uber so we can head to Old City to check out Brave New Worlds Comic Shop.

Fun Fact: Scenes from the movie Unbreakable by director M. Night Shyamalan were filmed here!

Stop #3 Brave New Worlds: Located at 55 N 2nd Street, in the Old City Section of Philadelphia

I was never really a fan of this particular comic shop, as I always found 90% of the staff to be condescending douche canoes! I guess they feel because of their location it gives them a right to be assholes to customers. While it’s a cool place to kill time, I would rather throw my money down a sewer drain than give them profits. The only thing that excited me was that they had The Walking Dead Free Comic, but even that came with a price. They were kind enough to stamp the front of every free comic to read, “Courtesy of Brave New…..” In the words of Deadpool, “What the shit?!?” Oh, and they had a 3 free comic limit per customer. Mike and I got there after three in the afternoon, and they still had piles and piles readily available, so you can’t have more than three….why? They had some ugly female chud standing there guarding the free comics like it was the fucking Arc of the Covenant! Please no one wants the shitty free comics that were defiled with your store information on the front of it. I had no choice but to get my copy of TWD from there as no other shop had it!

Stop #4 South Philly Comics: Located at 1840 E Passyunk Avenue, in South Philadelphia

I was excited to stop here, as I have not visited this store in quite some time. It is a hole-in-the-wall shop located in the East Passyunk Section of South Philly. It is co-owned by two guys that have an amazing knowledge of comics (and they are cool, not douche canoes like the guys and gals at Brave New Worlds).

After South Philly Comics we wandered around for a bit, and headed back to the PATCO station to go back over the bridge into Jersey. There were going to try and hit at least three more shops before the night ended.

Stop #5 Adventure Land Store: Located at 2120 Voorhees Town Center, Voorhees Township, NJ

This shop is located in the old Echelon Mall, and was formerly called Hall of Heroes.  It was a total bust, as they were out of all the free comics. It is a cool shop to poke around in, as they have all types of collectibles and geek-related threads and accessories.

The one great thing about stopping here is The Great American Cookie Company. Mike is a whore for their sugar cookies. So what’s a girl to do for the greatest boyfriend ever? Buy him a ton of sugar cookies.

On to the last and final stop, as we were now approaching 8:15pm, and shops typically close around 9:00pm.

Stop #6 A Time Lost … And Found: Located at 325 E. Atlantic Avenue, in Audubon, NJ

I’ve never been to this shop, and I will never go back again. Not only did this shop not participate in Free Comic Book Day, but the guy that runs the place is an ass. He talks down to you like he is the God of all comic shops. Bitch please, take you old dirty sock smelling, not impressive at all, cash only shop and shove it up your candy ass!

I can’t imagine that this guy gets a lot of foot traffic from people. How in the hell can you sell collectible items that are $100+ and take cash only? How can you expect to be an old ass condescending doucher that probably hasn’t seen a vagina other than smut magazines and internet porn to have any loyal customers with his attitude? Oh wait his one and only friend helps run the shop with him. It’s an adorable cock-a-poo, or whatever the hell weird breed mix it was, needless to say the dog had way more personality and was much friendlier than the owner.

Mike did find a cool comic about the Japanese Suicide Forrest and I snagged a copy of TWD 150 original cover, but I digress.

 

We ended the night with stopping at Star View Diner on the White Horse Pike in Somerdale, NJ, for a bite to eat. Our server was about as intelligent as a used condom. I asked for equal. She had no clue what I was talking about. I said the stuff in the blue packets, and at that moment the hamster started running on his wheel again. The food was ok

All in all it was a pretty amazing day wandering around with Mike on Free Comic Book Day!

 

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Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2, Friday, May 5, 2017

Mike and I kicked off the weekend seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, on Free Comic Book Day Eve!

The anticipation was finally over; Mike and I could not wait to see the second installment of this kick ass portion of the Marvel Universe. Guardians is by far my favorite of the movies. Comedy, adventure, eye candy, what more can a geek chic chick ask for?

We started the night by having ramen at Oki Maki Restaurant in Voorhees, NJ. Mike spotted this place last week when he was scavenging for DVDs at Tunes in the same shopping center. Oki Maki is an unexpected gem for that area. The décor was pretty cool; they have anural in the back of the restaurant of a cartoon samurai chopping a hard boiled egg in half. It’s quite colorful. In from of the mural they have various ramen bowls suspended from the ceiling. The tables are topped with pennies, and each one has their own iPad for easy ordering. The ramen itself was pretty decent, however the beef was quite mushy, I think next time I will be ordering the ramen without the meat.

Finally it was time to head over to the movie theater to see GOTG Vol. 2! We decided to go to the Cinemark Theater in Somerdale, NJ, to see the movie in 3d; plus they have the super comfy reclining chairs. Needless to say the movie was amazing; action, humor, great soundtrack and sexy-ass Star-Lord! If you haven’t seen it yet; stop what you’re doing, cancel your plans (even if you having surgery) and GO SEE GUARDIANS!

Chiller Theater Expo 2017, Some Observations

This past weekend (Sat. 4/22/17), I decided to check out the Chiller Theater Expo at the Hilton Hotel in Parsippany, NJ.
Chiller Theater Expo claims to be the number one convention event of the season. While I had a blast there were many things wrong with the way the con was set up. I blame the Hilton Hotel for about 80% of this, and the con itself for the remaining 20%.
Please do not take my opinion of this convention as derogatory, it is anything but and has no reflection on the people that run it.
The ticket booth was a complete shit show as they were not accepting cards for payment. The con did not bother to post this information anywhere on their site, social media pages, nada. (When a con accepts CASH ONLY for passes; then you need to COMMUNICATE that information to people.) I depleted almost all my cash I had for autographs and the vendor room to pay for 4 attendees. In the entire hotel there was one, yes only one ATM machine. Props to the hotel for preparing in advance for almost 500+ people coming in and out of their establishment all weekend long. I waited in line for over 15 minutes to get cash out. What a cluster!
I am assuming that the Hilton has zero experience in handling a convention of this size, or a convention at all for that matter.
How the Hotel had everything set and executed was sub par. It appears as they do not have enough meeting space to accommodate this convention, and just shoved everything that could not fit in their main space anywhere they could find room.
They had some of the celebrity tables set up in their lobby, the lobby.
Personally, I would have limited some of the vendors or put more of them in the public areas of the hotel. For Christ sake there are only so many vendors you can have that sell the same shit! While I love meandering through the vendor’s rooms, you can only look at so many tables that have DVDs and Pop Vinyl figures. To boot some of the vendors are down right assholes to you. Some of their collectible items were bullshit items anyway. They wouldn’t know about having a real collection if it crawled up their ass to their brain! Some douche canoe wanted $100 for a paper Star Trek table cloth. Were you dropped on your head as a child? I looked it up on eBay and you can find plenty for under $30. When I showed this to the vendor his eyes pierced me like a laser through lead. But I digress.
The Hotel had concessions and a bar in the middle of the main walkway between the main meeting space and the lobby/bar area where the majority of the autograph tables were located.  How cute, they wanted to generate some ancillary revenue with nasty frozen pizza under a heat lamp and a variety of other shitty foods that a starving Ethiopian would probably turn down.
Oh and it blocked their one and only elevator area for hotel guests to use. Wicked smart of them! Can you say fire hazard?
The Hotel staff had the Dante Hicks mental of the “I’m not even supposed to be here today,” type of attitude, and all that I encounter had the shittiest attitudes I have ever experienced. The 7-Eleven near my house provides better friendliness and customer service. Obviously the hotel staff knows nothing of the Hilton brand service standards. I can’t wait to amuse myself by reading the hotel reviews from this past weekend.
Most of the convention staff left a lot to be desired. Some of them having a sense of entitlement that they are staffing a con. Oh God I am so impressed, I wish I was one of them, NOT! Some acted like they were the Convention Gestapo.
I actually witnessed one of them being slightly curt to a woman in a wheelchair. Really? What kind of low life would begrudge someone in a wheelchair?
There was a narrow hallway you had to venture down to get to smaller vendors and autograph rooms. This staff member was giving the person aiding the woman in the wheelchair lip because the hallway is a “tight squeeze”. Well it is ADA accessible as far as I could tell, and you should have trust that attendees would make room for her to get down the corridor. Just because the person is in a wheelchair does not mean they do not have the right to attend and enjoy a con. If this person was a good con staffer,  he would have given some assistance in leading her down the hall. But no he would rather stand there and be a prick to someone instead of doing his job in aiding someone.
Don’t even get me started on the brainless shlubs that were checking for wristbands, taking their anger out on con attendees with their snarkiness all because they got stuck with one of the shittier con staffer responsibilities.
Overall I had a pretty decent time there; despite everything being organized chaos. My professional suggestion for the Chiller Theater Expo is to find a bigger hotel that provides exceptional customer service to not only you as the organizer, but to your staffers and attendees. A Hotel should embrace a con, and do things that cater specifically to the needs of an organizer and the fandom. For example offer con themed drinks or special themed menu items. A hotel should also ensure that they have more than one ATM on property for convenience. The overall cost of renting additional ATMs versus the overall value of the piece of business being provided should be no contest, when looking at it from a revenue management standpoint. These are some of the things that let you know a hotel cares about and values your business. Training con staff on how to be friendly and accommodating, especially to those that truly require assistance should be considered as well.
The opinions stated in this blog are of my own, and are strictly based on my experience attending the Chiller Theater Expo on Saturday, 4/22/17.

The Adventures of Mike & Stephanie: Saturday, 4/8/17, Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market

Mike and I had an amazing day, and was hands down one of the coolest adventures we have had!

We decided to venture up to Trenton, NJ, to check out the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market  (@TrentonPRFM on Twitter).  It is held at the Roebling Wire Works Building, a historic site that is famous to the area. The flea market was formed on a passion for punk music and hardcore lifestyle. It features vendors that sell anything from DIY fashions and jewelry, artwork, zines, hot sauce, collectibles; basically any kind of unique item you can think of and more. Outside of the building there were various food trucks, and an ATM on wheels!  If your looking for a pair of homemade earring that are little hot dogs with sauerkraut and mustard (yup I bought ’em); then this is the pace to be!

Like two kids in a candy store we perused every aisle, and left no stone unturned. Our eyes feasted on the various vendors and people in awe! Mike even got to meet the creators of Weird NJ, Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran. He was able to obtain the May issue early, and of course got them to autograph everything that he purchased from their table. The moment was immortalized with a pic of course. I for one was happy that one of the vendors acknowledge that today was Rex Manning Day! If your unsure of what this annual celebration is I implore you to watch the movie Empire Records.

Mike being the awesomely amazing boyfriend that he is brought me a cup and saucer set from Rude Girl Design’s table that had Mr. T on it. Yes Mr. Fucking T, on a cup and saucer. This bad boy is now the center piece of one of my book cases in my living room.

It was a fulfilling day to say the least, and purchased pins, magnets, zines, books, hot dog charm earrings (as previously mentioned) and even a bottle of hot sauce!

We continued this amazing day with a romantic dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Cherry Hill, NJ. I was excited to go there with Mike as he has never feasted on their delightful food. We started off with some drinks; unsweetened iced tea for him and what a surprise, a Pomegranate Martini for moi. Mozzarella Marinara was our appetizer. It is breaded and fried pieces of fresh mozzarella cheese served with a side of thin marinara sauce. I also started with the Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese, Pine Nuts, Red Onions, Applewood-Smoked Bacon, topped with White Balsamic Vinaigrette. For our entrées Mike ordered angel hair pasta with meatballs and I ordered the Chicken Saltimbocca (Fresh Sage, Prosciutto, Provolone with Spaghetti Aglio Olio); of course I subbed the spaghetti for wheat penne. I love watching Mike enjoy his food. He eats pasta like a small child in  high chair savoring every slurp of spaghetti!

Following Maggiano’s we went home and ended the evening with some amazing cuddles and kisses.

And that concludes another fantastic adventure!

A link to the photos I took will be posted on twitter on @TheCookeePuss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Uncle Kevin (3/21/17)

Happy Birthday Uncle Kevin!


As you are celebrating by eating Nanny’s homemade pizza and playing 500 rummy for pennies (don’t let that Ace,2,3 play fly either), I’m celebrating with you here on earth remembering all the amazing times we had.

I miss coming over and having our talks, and chilling out “Marley Style”.

You would be so proud of all of us, we are all just as crazy as ever and love reminiscing about all of the good times we had with you.

I miss you more and more with each passing day, and wish you were here to finally see that your wish came true and could see how happy my life is now.

I love you always!

The Adventures of Mike & Stephanie: Saturday, 3/11/17, Monster-Mania 36

After an 8 year hiatus I decided to give Monster-Mania another whirl, how could I possible resist attending this con, The Karate Kid himself, Ralph Macchio was going to be there!
I was especially excited, because my brother Michael was coming too, it was several years since has has attended this con as well.
As we approached the hotel, the traffic was a complete mess I had never remembered it being so crazy. Mike and I decided to park at a nearby shopping center and Lyfted over to the hotel. Some may think it was lazy, but to avoid having to sit in the hotel parking lot traffic, fight for a parking spot and walk in the blistering cold; it was a pretty genius suggestion on Mike’s part.
When we finally arrived and walked into the hotel’s lobby it was sheer madness; wall to wall people, and lines everywhere. We made it by the skin of our teeth as my brother was next in line to purchase passes to get in. Wristbands on, con guide in hand we ventured into the madness of the crowd. Of course the first order of business was to pee. Of course the ladies room had an obnoxiously long line, but I made a “bathroom line friend” Amy with b-Evil Toys. I couldn’t wait to visit her table to see the coll merch she had for sale. Finally I had my “relief”.
Of course I walk out of the bathroom, and the boys are no where to be found through the crowd. I finally see Mike, at a vendor table selling “themed” magnets. How could I resist, as I am a magnet whore and want nothing more but to fill my fridge up with more decor. I purchased Ecto Cooler, The Golden Girls, The Clash London Calling Album Cover, Mr. T Cereal, John Waters with a pink flamingo, one that said, “Tell them Large Marge Sent You”, and I saw a cool Bowie one to get for our pal Little Miss Roller Hoops. At that same table Mike got this adorable Godzilla plushie too!
As we muscled through the ballroom foyer area filled with dealers and the two ballrooms full of dealers there was all kinds of cool shit! Anything you want they had it; DVDs, T-shirts, action figures, posters, movie and tv themed baseball cards, hand-made horror themed purses, taxidermy stuff was being sold at five different tables, hand-made jewelry and crafts.
I talked to some pretty talented people in the vendor rooms
  • Lady Arielle Presents – awesome hand-made steampunk style jewlry inclusing unique pocket watches
  • Smashley Miller Creations Facebook and Smashley MIller Creations Etsy Page – This chick was awesome! She had a table full of hand-made crafts, including a jewlry box with a picture of Rex Manning saying, “Happy Rex Manning Day”.
  • Courtney Lacorte, Owner/Designer of Junkyard Backpack – Courtney had all types of hand-made bags to please any fandon from horror to pop-art, and more.
  • Popsicart – I purchased an Ecto-1 metal liscence plate, and a coaster that had the Taylor Pork Roll logo on it. In addition to that Josh had 3-D art for sale including Patrick Bateman’s Pierce and Pierce Business card and Chuck’s Bike-O-Rama. Josh’s prices are pretty reasonable as well starting at $35. It is well worth it given his talent and perfection that is put in to every piece.
  • Darling Taxidermy – This table was the most interesting out of the entire con in my opinion. She had all kinds of items that I would never think to put a taxidermy animal in. She had these beautiful ceramic pink roses that looked like candle holders, but in the middle was a round snow-globe like piece with a teeny tiny taxidermy bat in it.
  • b-Evil Toys – I had to visit my bathroom line gal pal at her table. She had a lot of cool pop vinyls. Mike bought me Alex from A Clockwork Orange. He came complete with his cane too!
We saw plenty of amazing cosplay too! Everything from Freddy Krueger, Ash, Negan, Evil Clowns, etc. A great majority of them were nicely done, while others looked like they went to a dollar store to throw their cosplay together.
After fighting through the massive crowd it was time to get in line to meet The Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio! I was a total fan girl when I walked into the room and saw not only him, but William Zabka (Johnny) and Martin Kove (Sensei John Kreese all decked out in his gi no less!) The line was not terribly long, as I think my brother and I waited for about 15 minutes. Macchio was a super nice guy and signed my picture with “Bonsai!”
On we went as Mike wanted to meet Wilford Brimley, and have him sign his box of Quaker Oats Oatmeal. Now I told Mike to make sure he had cash for autographs as some of them do not take cards, so what happened to the poor guy? As Mike approached for his autograph he is told that they do not take cards. Ugh, poor Mike! I had no cash on me at all, so he had to go find an ATM. Just as you would expect from a hotel that has no clue how to prepare for a con (I know this from my past experiences in attending this con as it has been at the same hotel since the con started many moons ago), both if their ATMs run out of cash! How can you let that happen? You know that there will be 500+ people coming in and out of your facility for three days, and you are not prepared?!? But I digress. My brother saved the day as he had the $40 in his pocket to loan Mike! His smile was beaming like a child on Christmas morning, and was ecstatic to have Mr. Brimley sign the box of Quaker Oats and take a picture with him!
It was time to claim our seats in the Q&A room, as we wanted to be there early for The Karate Kid. We were able to see the Q&A with Hatchet creator Adam Green as we waited. If you have never seen any of the Hatchet movies, get them and watch them. They are classic slasher movies at it’s finest!
The Karate Kid Q&A was amazing, and discussed their stories and experiences of making the movie, seeing it on the big screen for the first time, as well as their memories of working Pat Morita (Mr. Miyagi). The Q&A ended with William Zabka taking a photo of everyone in the room doing a Karate pose to post on his twitter!
After the Q&A we did one last swoop of the main dealers room. We were tired and ready to go home and relax after that. We froze our asses off as we walked back to my brother’s car, as he was kind enough to take us back to the shopping center where we parked.
And that concludes another fantastic adventure!

Monster-Mania 36, Some Observations

Monster-Mania is a Philadelphia area based Horror Convention that takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, NJ, every March and August. After an 8 year hiatus I decided to given the con another whirl. As a person that is well versed in the con universe with anything from comic-cons, anime-cons and furry-cons; not to mention my experiences in event planning and execution there are a few things I would like to comment on. Please note that these are my own opinions and I am not in any way promoting the con itself or it’s host hotel, nor is this a bash session of the two either.
I was shocked to see how things have changed. For one pulling into the Hotel parking lot was an absolute nightmare. It was so bad that we decided to park in a nearby shopping center and Lyft to the hotel. As the Lyft driver pulled up the hotel there were several ignoramus that blocked people parked in handicapped spots. Wouldn’t they think to have staff in the parking lot directing traffic knowing the volume of attendees? Surely you must know how many tickets you sold and what ratio of them were non-hotel guests coming in for the day.
The Hotel itself was filled to capacity, as I can’t even imagine how many fire codes were violated throughout the weekend. You literally had to push through people to make your way around. There were also people that brought their kids that were still in strollers. This a horror convention, not family fun day! I’m fine with people bringing their kids, but have a no stroller rule.
I believe part of the problem was having so may big names drawing all walks of life young and old to the con. You need to find a larger facility that can handle all of this. There are plenty of larger Hotels with triple the meeting space and expo centers that you can explore. These places would more than likely provide better customer service to the person running the con and it’s attendees as this hotel clearly takes this piece of business for granted knowing that they are guaranteed two huge revenue months per year in the slowest quarters of the year. I would like to add that these hoteliers clearly do not have con experience. This hotel has changed operations managers and sales managers several times in the past years, so not having that consistency of seasoned professionals handling the event is an issue in and of itself.
The Hotel had food concessions set up in the middle of the lobby which made everything even more congested, as that area was always left open for people to congregate. You need to have an are to congregate at a con, as con-goers like to have a place to chill and sort through all the cool autographs and shit that they bought! To make it worse they had a make shift bar set up behind their front desk. It was the epitome of cluster fuck!
The ATM machines both ran out of money! How does that happen? Wouldn’t you have your company come out several times throughout the weekend to replenish them? There were plenty of pissed off people because of this. The area that the hotel is in does not have what you call walkability, and there are no convenience stores within walking distance either.
It is quite evident that this event has outgrown this hotel, as people were being denied entry at many points throughout Saturday until people left the con. How in the hell they kept track of that I have no idea. Some of the staffers were clueless and rude.
The gentleman that hosts the convention is a stubborn old fool, and set in his ways. There were plenty of rumblings among the vendors who mainly shit talked him for becoming so disorganized and letting things get out of control. It’s a great con don’t get me wrong, but find a bigger hotel that knows what the fuck they are doing, as The Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill has definitely lost their luster with being able to handle large events.
After hosting this con for the millionth time you would think the Hotel would know how to prepare for the ever growing attendance of this con, and that the President of Monster-Mania, LLC, would open his eyes and see that he needs a bigger venue.
To conclude I would like to mention again that these are my observations, and by no means am I slandering the hotel or the convention in any way. This will always be one of my favorites to attend!

The Adventures of Mike & Stephanie: The Iron Skillet Experience, Sat. 3/4/17

Mike and I stumbled upon a little adventure after leaving his sister’s in Sweedsboro, NJ on Saturday. When we got into the car Mike suggested stopping at King’s Things Thrift Store that he found doing a Google search.

We arrived at King’s Things to find that it was this small hole in the wall spot with nothing but clothing, housewares and a curling iron that still had hair on it. Mike of course put his face of disappointment on when he saw there were no DVDs to go through. Of course he had to ask the woman behind the counter if they had any DVDs as if there was a secret passage to the mother load. We were surprised when she said there was an extension of the store four doors down. Mike and I were like two kids trying to run out the front door at the same time to go play outside.

Off we went four doors down to explore the rest of King’s Things Thrift Store. We entered and JACKPOT! In the back of the store there were VHS tapes coming literally out the wazoo.  Shelves upon shelves of these slices of fried gold. Of course I found over 10+ videos for our Found Footage Friends Nick and Joe! I was so excited to finally make a contribution to Found Footage Volume 9! We bought so may tapes that the owner stopped counting at thirty and gave us the rest for nothing. I was in total satisfaction carrying a gift bag full of VHS tapes to the car!

Our next stop was to Heritage’s Convenience Store to grab some drinks. We both feasted our eyes on an amazing Crystal Pepsi Display, a full display at that. I discovered that it had one of those removable cardboard toppers, and exclaimed to Mike that we must have this. I kindly asked the cashier if we could have it, and she said no! I though to myself what the hell; they only throw them away anyway. I am not going to lie I was just going to snatch it and walk out of the store with it, but Mike stopped me.

Back on the road we went. After a few miles Mike spotted a sign that said Hip Hop Shop; of course we had to pull into their parking lot. The building was awesome, with the side of it painted literally like a boom box. The place was closed of course, but we were able to take some sweet pics.

As we got back in the car we were both saying that we were hungry. We were on Interstate 295 at that point, so I suggested that we go to Iron Skillet which was only a 20 minute drive from where we were. Mike discovered Iron Skillet when he took his drive across the country back in September. Iron Skillet is a 24-hour restaurant located inside a Petro Truck Stop in Bordentown, NJ. As their website states, “You’ll see why professional drivers vote Iron Skillet their favorite restaurant year after year!”Mike described the County Fried Steak like it was a meal you would be served at a lavish five-star restaurant. I don’t think that Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Buddakan or Barclay Prime served their meals on an iron plate with handles.

Mike and both ordered the Country Fried Steak, and it was delicious! I couldn’t finish half of mine so I offered it to Mike and he tore it up. Mike did something funny during dinner though. He pushed an empty small skillet to my side of the table and I started at him like what the hell are you doing dude. He wanted me to put it in my purse so we could take it home. If it weren’t for the cameras I spotted that sucker would be my new cereal bowl. Bummer; I know!

As we went to the counter to pay Mike had to ask for bottles of the seasoning to purchase as well as a bottle of Iron Skillet Steak Sauce. I love his obsession with seasonings! It makes me so giddy when he whoops out his little seasoning bag with Mrs. Dash, Old Bay, Iron Skillet Seasoning, South Philly Rub, and whatever else he has in there. He sprinkles the seasonings on his food and gets excited like when a small child asks for sprinkles on their ice cream!

Thrift Store, Crystal Pepsi, a building painted to look like a boom box and Iron Skillet; I’d say it was a good day.

And that concludes another adventure!

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