DECEMBER 27, 2011 3 PM - We hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
DECEMBER 23, 2011 - Please be advised that after detailed analysis and careful consideration, a new warning has been added at the end of the review for TERRORTOWN.
DECEMBER 16, 2011 - FIREWORKS TONIGHT!
The HOLIDAY NIGHTS AT GREENFIELD VILLAGE in DEARBORN continues tonight and tomorrow, with a fireworks finale at about 9:45 PM. See the entry on December 1st for more info.
DECEMBER 7, 2011 - FIREWORKS, THE FOURTH OF JULY, AND THE RED, WHITE AND BOO!!!
Forget the "red white and BLUE" next 4th of July. Huh?
Instead, next 4th holiday season join us for RED, WHITE, AND BOO at THE BONEYARD in STOCKBRIDGE! The haunted woods will be in full operation, and YOU are invited. Full details later.
But in the meantime you should check out their entry in the CHRISTMAS TREE CONTEST at NITE LIGHT'S CHRISTMAS LIGHT DISPLAY in JACKSON, MICHIGAN. It's a drive thru Christmas light display now in its 16th year! They also operate in GRAND RAPIDS,¬ and claim to be Michigan's Largest Christmas Light display.
Hmmm...it says it's "over 1 mile long with millions of lights - animated drive through." Wait a second...the Wayne County Light Fest is WAY longer than 1 mile! We'll have to check on that when we go again this Friday before hitting the fireworks at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, which is after the Holiday Nights show ending at 10 PM.
Wayne County Light Fest ALSO boasts over a million lights, not sure exactly how many though. Hmmm...in Jackson they have a MILLION LIGHTS crammed into about ONE MILE? It might be DAZZLE CITY! Take a peek here: www.niteliteshow.com
But back to the special tree. A side event to the Nite Lights in Jackson is a Christmas tree auction with a cool local spin. Various groups decorate a Christmas Tree to the best of their abilities. Then the auction proceeds go to various charities selected by the tree creators.
This year the community minded crew at THE BONEYARD made one of the Christmas Trees for this auction. But it's not grandpa's Christmas tree. Not even close. You guessed it...it's a CREEPED OUT CHRISTMAS TREE that would make Freddie proud!
There's a ZOMBIE SANTA CLAWS HEAD and a stuffed bear who was subjected to major surgery by amateurs, all on a bed of graveyard goodies.
The public votes for their favorite tree, then the winner's charity gets a giant bonus check from a sponsor. THIS is the kind of community involvement from haunts we admire big time. Their charity this year is ST. JUDE'S. WAY TO GO, BONEYARD.
We didn't know about this show until today, but we're meeting for lunch tomorrow to plan a trip to Jackson. My partner is hopelessly addicted to gnawing the ultra tasty meat at the LONGHORN STEAK HOUSE so we're going there. I'm easily convinced!
More coming soon...
DECEMBER 1, 2011 - FIREWORKS TOMORROW NIGHT!
As you know, we're fireworks freaks too and always chasing the best shows regardless of the weather!
Tomorrow is the first night of HOLIDAY NIGHTS IN GREENFIELD VILLAGE in DEARBORN, which ends with a professional fireworks display about 12 minutes long. If you don't go to the show itself you can still easily see the fireworks.
Here's our MO: enter Greenfield Village from the Oakwood Blvd. entrance. Stay to the right and go about 1/2 mile to the last parking area on the right. Park as close to the end as possible. This puts you about only 200 yards away from the fireworks launch spot for great impact! Afterwards, leave and TURN RIGHT to get out. If you try to go back the way you came, YOU'LL BE SORRRRRY! Do it this way and you'll be the last to arrive, and the first to leave.
NOVEMBER 25, 2011 1 PM - THE DONKEY DIFFERENCE DEJOUR
If you actually believed all that stuff about Grandma and Donkey for Thanksgiving, your gullibility rating factor just shot thru the roof! But that's ok. Occasionally, it's our job to pull your leg...right out of its socket if at all possible. Many thanks for obliging us; there's always a few who will take almost¬ any¬ bait hook, line, and sinker!
As a reward for hangin' tight, we've done some research to find some awesome and totally unique TURKEY recipes. Today we present a sure winner for those who are adventurous...and pork lovers. It is SPECTACULAR: http://therunawayspoon.com/blog/2011/10/bacon-blanketed- herb-roasted-turkey/
Next time we'll show you an amazing 3 meat blend of turkey, duck, and chicken. We're talkin' fancy pants gourmet stuff here, none of that stinky donkey stuff.
And don't forget: the 2011 AWARDS will be posted in December. We saw and experienced many amazing things at haunts, and we're having a blast sifting thru all the details tabulating the awards!
NOVEMBER 25, 2011 1 AM - HOLIDAY CHEERS, HOLIDAY TEARS
Hooray for Grandma. Hooray for Snoopy. Hooray for saving money.
But hooray for not wasting time too. Time is valuable, and if you waste it you have zero recourse to get it back. We promised to reveal a sure-fire method for saving even more than the stores promise, up to and including 100%. Here it is:
1. Set your alarm clock for 5 AM on Black Friday.
2. Drag your body, tired from consuming way too much food, out of bed and grab your car keys.
3. Hide your car keys.
4. Go back to bed, and join me in Slumberland.
5. Done. You just save 100% on your purchases.
See how easy? I have lots more big dirt to share with you about what happened at Grandma's house last night, but now I need to go set my alarm clock for 5 AM. See you in my dreams...
NOVEMBER 24, 2011 1 AM - BLACK FRIDAY SECRETS THEY WON'T TELL YOU
If you know what money is, you know what "Black Friday" is too. People willingly imitate sardines being BURIED ALIVE AT EREBUS so they can score a toaster for $2.
They saved 50%. That's lame.
We're going to tell you how to save upwards of 90%¬ instead. Wait, that's lame too. Let's make it 100%.
NOW¬ you're talkin'.
We'll tell you exactly how, but right now I need my beauty sleep. The librarian was a slave driver. (more inside dirt later)
NOVEMBER 24, 2011 12 AM - HAPPY DONKEY DAY TO YOU AND YOU AND YOU!
Over the river and thru the woods, to grandmother's house we go. The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh, thru white and drifted snow...
Well, we're off to GRANDMA'S HOUSE FOR THANKSGIVING where we'll have a DONKEY FEAST THAT'S FIT FOR A KING, and fit to eat. Turkeys just dry out too easily during cooking, and besides they're adulterated with added salt solution and artificial meat product flavor.
Donkey meat is all natural by contrast, and tastes like chicken. We suggest a side dish of candied yam patties and that cranberry stuff that wiggles and shakes when you flick it with your little finger. Now you're talkin' some serious gourmet action that will put Betty Crocker in the Culinary Hall of Shame.
Bon appetite! Please pass the donkey sauce...
NOVEMBER 23, 2011 - SAVE A TURKEY, EAT A DONKEY
If the Indians had given the Pilgrims a donkey instead of a turkey, we'd all have a piece of ___ for Thanksgiving! And it's the one time of the year when having big thighs is a good thing.
So give Tom Turkey a break this year. But until I can find a deep fryer big enough for a donkey, I'll stick with one of the tried and true traditional donkey recipes. This one goes way back several generations in my family.
Ah memories...I can still see Grandma in the kitchen...preparing the donkey for Thanksgiving Dinner...the pungent aroma wafting about until it permeates the entire neighborhood...you can smell it WAY before it's served...the dogs and llamas come running...if you can get past the flies you've got it licked. The dinner bell clangs its Call To Arms as we wield our favored implements grabbing and ripping the burning flesh on its way to our digestive tract, and we magically transform into Donkey Eating Zombies singing "Dragula" loudly and out of tune. Ahhhh, now THAT'S the true Haunted Thanksgiving Spooky Spirit.
So now just for you, the highly discerning Zioptis Populace, is Grandma's Secret Donkey Stew recipe: http://www.menu.it/eng/scheda_ricetta.cfm?id_ricetta=537
NOVEMBER 18, 2011 - FIREWORKS, FINALS AND FINE MUSIC
Reviews are being finalized, and tabulations for the Awards have begun. Awards will announced in December.
Did you see us at the opening ceremony last night for the Wayne County Light Fest? We were the ones RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of thousands of screaming fans! Ok, maybe hundreds. But it was way cool. They had a great fireworks display to cap off the show, and everybody was stoked to go thru the new show. Free! (first night only - $5 now)
We had success getting some decent light painting images last night too. I knew the tunnels would be good opportunities, but my favorite ended up being the last display I would have imagined. Light painting has become sort of another off shoot from Zioptis; we're always looking for new creative outlets/genres to explore. And LP is so much fun! Looky here: www.flickriver.com/photos/45316911@N03/6356858637/in/p hotostream
Getting ready to go to the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra Concert tonight. Surprised? My dad played violin with them for longer than anybody else, and the current season is actually dedicated to my dad who died last year.
Got another very interesting concert to tell you about later. We could never see this band because they always came to town DURING OCTOBER ON WEEKENDS. Oh wellski...until this year when THE MUSICAL BOX FINALLY played in NOVEMBER! (more later)
NOVEMBER 15, 2011 4 PM - PIE IN THE SKY THIS THURSDAY!
Help us kick off the start of the Wayne County Light Fest on Thursday November 17th. This is the free sneak preview with music, refreshments and a PROFESSIONAL FIREWORKS DISPLAY! It's a night your whole family will remember, and best of all it's FREE. After Thursday it's $5 per vehicle.
There's over a million lights now, with two awesome tunnels and a GIANT LED XMAS TREE at the end. It is SPECTACULAR. Bring your camera to grab unique memories!
Just enter Edward Hines Drive off of Merriman in Westland, pull in as far as you can go and park. You'll see the portable stage off to the left, and last year SANTA CLAUS even showed up! Festivities start at 6 PM.
NOVEMBER 13, 2011 6 PM - Just posted: Full review for THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS. (See Reviews 2011 A or What's Next)
NOVEMBER 13, 2011 SUNDAY 1 AM - OF PENGUINS AND PRINCESSES
I am eating a penguin from France.
I ate dinner with 5 princesses tonight.
Not the penguin from Lansing. (see review for HAUNTED MONSTER TRUCK RIDES in Reviews 2011 A) It's the Trader Joe's Penguin Shaped Gummies which have a soft spot for you with their fluid, fruity center that pleasantly melts in your mouth. They're made in France.
Not Princess Leia from Star Wars. These princesses were much nicer. But you never would have known it a couple weeks ago when these same princesses spooked us silly. Not only were they not very princess-like, they were WITCHES! The kind you're afraid of, that make things go bump in the night.
Oh yeah...these princesses, or witches, or whatever...are about 9 or 10 years old! Not kidding. They were SO cute! But aspiring actresses too.
We just got back from the annual worker appreciation party for HAUNTED HALLOWS in WESTLAND. The vibe was awesome, and we heard and told stories until the janitor kicked us out! Many thanks to the entire VFW crew from Zioptis, and we promise to come again next year and again eat all the cheesecake that fits. What are the rest of you guys having?
As we gushed last year, the pint size actors at HAUNTED HALLOWS pack a punch and a half. Last year they performed ghastly experiments, even holding patrons hostage with a machete right on your neck!
We were worried. We were right to worry.
And now we're worried again. We think we're right again.
Strolling about casually, we overheard mutterings about new experiments and personalities yet to be created, lurking in the overactive imaginations of these young actors learning to LIVE their parts. And THAT'S how they give convincing performances that bring people year after year from as far away as England to see them! Not kidding.
Hey, this haunt had a bona fide MAD PROFESSOR this season. There's no telling what twisted logic he taught these impressionable youngsters. All we can do is wait until next year when we again heed the call...the call we can't ignore...the call that beckons us with new urgency every year...the call to arms...with our new GPS unit proudly leading the way to roads we don't know the name of or care to about either.
Shame on you, Mandy. God bless you, Wendy.
FULL SCALE PROFESSIONAL FIREWORKS SHOW COMING TO WAYNE COUNTY VERY SOON! Stay tuned...
NOVEMBER 12, 2011 1 PM - BIG CITY KIDS AND DIRT ROADS
Every year our journeys take us far and wide, across highways and byways and yes even dirt roads. It's an adventure and a half!
Tonight we'll hit the pavement once again, and probably end up in the woods. Huh? We're going to a massive haunt party tonight, but I better not say where because we can't have too many people crashing it. Tune in tomorrow or the next day for the full scoop, depending on the severity of the aftermath.
Based on what happened at this party last year, it should be some juicy stuff! But don't worry kids; we'll change the names to protect the guilty parties involved. And should you decide to accept this mission; the secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions.
See girls? It doesn't count....it'll be alright...it's Saturday Night!
11/11/11 7 PM - JUST POSTED: Full review for HAUNTED HALLOWS!
11/11/11 4 PM - Coming next: HAUNTED HALLOWS in WESTLAND and THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS. THEY WERE BOTH KILLER THIS YEAR!
11/11/11 - ONCE IN A LIFETIME:
HAPPY ELEVEN ELEVEN ELEVEN!
NOVEMBER 9, 2011 7 PM - BLAKE'S review now complete, others coming right up!
NOVEMBER 8, 2011 - THROWING DOWN THE GAUNTLET
The challenge has gone out. WHO will totally wow us next year? WHO did it this year?
TOP AWARDS FOR HAUNT SEASON 2011 WILL BE ANNOUNCED NEXT MONTH IN DECEMBER!
NOVEMBER 7, 2011 7 PM - ONCE IN A LIFETIME
Today's date is ELEVEN SEVEN ELEVEN. Pretty cool, eh? Well, hold your horses. You ain't seen nothin' yet. In just four days, the date will be ELEVEN ELEVEN ELEVEN! It's gonna be a BIG PARTY, are you ready?
NOVEMBER 7, 2011 5 PM - GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES - IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS
Every year there's brand new haunts, and also casualties as we lose others. Nothing lasts forever after all, not even the coolest haunt. And if it's a stinker, it may not even last a full season.
Who remembers the HERSHEY HAUNTED HOUSE in DEARBORN? It was not a stinker. In fact it was really sweet, and their last year featured a roller coaster ride! Ok, it wasn't anything like Cedar Point which is the World Capital of Roller Coasters. But remember, MICHIGAN IS THE HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!
Anyway, after that we always wondered who would be next to incorporate a roller coaster into a haunt. And this year we found it! Sorta. HAUNTED MONSTER TRUCK RIDES in LANSING took us on a thrill ride that at times felt like a roller coaster.
Another new haunt we really liked was the CHELSEA FEARGROUNDS, which showed us a whole new breed of mad scientist. He had lots of secret buttons and magic dials to spin, in a unique blend of retro and modern electronic equipment.
Where will it end? What's next? That's what's on the minds of countless haunt operators right now.
And we're already chomping at the bit to find out how their crazy imaginations end up realized next season as some guy tries to "protect" his vulnerable girlfriend from certain disaster. Or from becoming Frankenstein's next boyfriend. Or becoming a mutant alien. Or falling victim to attacks by giant insects. Or turning into a flesh-eating zombie. Or whatever the twisted minds of haunt operators can conceive and believe!!!
Give us twisted. Give us scary. Give us bizarre. Give us shocking. Give us thrills.
GIVE US THE TIME OF OUR LIVES.
You can do it, haunt operators. If you don't, you're history. But do it right, and the world will beat a path to your doorstep. The ball is in your court.
NOVEMBER 6, 2011 7 PM - PICK A STATE, ANY STATE, THEY'RE ALL WINNERS!
Last night we saw people with green ears. Did you know that people from Kentucky have green ears? We learned all kinds of stuff we never knew existed and can't live without until last night at TERRORTOWN.
And what a blast we had getting there! Going thru both haunts, munching on gourmet grilled chicken, mingling with many cool people, and digging a concert by THE NIGHTMARE. And for the first time at the OHIO VALLEY party, a MICHIGAN haunt won an award! They took an abbreviated tour of Michigan haunts, and awarded EREBUS the top Michigan prize.
The bulk of their reviews/ratings are for Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. These guys are our cool COMPATRIOTS, not competitors! Give 'em a click at www.ohiovalleyhaunts.com
One name kept coming up though in talking with people from many haunts. No matter what state people were from, they kept saying we HAVE to check out DEAD ACRES HAUNTED HOOTCHIE in the COLUMBUS, OHIO area. Their descriptions were passionate and highly intriguing to say the least!
OH, MANDY...WELL YOU KISSED ME AND STOPPED ME FROM SHAKING, AND I NEED YOU TODAY!
If you've been following our journeys, you've heard us refer to a stabilizing, comforting girl we call Mandy.
But she's not human. She's actually just a voice in our Tom-Tom GPS device. There were many languages to choose from and many voices within each language as well. All the others sounded insincere and confused, so we chose "Mandy."
She guided us thru thick and thin, giving us the directions we became too lazy to look up on MapQuest anymore. We used to have problems every year getting to TERRORTOWN...just ask Mark and he'll have some wild stories for you. All true.
And then last night we were deathly afraid a whole new LEGACY OF LOSTNESS would be born...yet again. We had an ordeal that had us briefly wondering how we would get home...never mind the embarrassing details. Let's just say that Mr. Haunted House came to our rescue, and I still have a bass voice!
Ok, so now we're in our magic bus...safe and secure...warm tushies in our heated seats...ice cold Vernor's pop from the tent...QUIET RIOT in the CD player...ah, now we can relax and cruise home...let's turn Mandy on.
Hmmm...Mandy?...Mandy? MANDY?! Wherefore art thou, Mandy? It's the last big journey of the year, and we need you so bad...
OH MANDY! HOW COULD YOU? Right then and there, in my very lap, Mandy died a horrible and sudden death. It was not pretty. She was totally lifeless. Wouldn't even play that little drum solo for us. Wouldn't do ANYTHING in fact.
You guessed it. Here we go again just like the olden days, blindly forging a path that hopefully takes us somewhere near hearth and home. Wait...that says South...shouldn't we be going North? The cycle is complete. The saga continues...
More soon, stay tuned!
NOVEMBER 6, 2011 SUNDAY 2 PM - THE AFTERMATH...A STUDY IN CONFUSION AND CONFIDENCE
Wow, the OHIO VALLEY HAUNT ROUND-UP PARTY was incredible last night at TERRORTOWN near TOLEDO! There were SO many awesome vibes of SO many different kinds, all twisting and intersecting into one of the most stimulating and interesting evenings we've had in eons!
And it even featured AN AMAZING REAL LIFE RESCUE by "MR. HAUNTED HOUSE" HIMSELF! Unless you've been doing the ostrich thing, you know that we're referring to the EREBUS and FEAR FINDER dude. We can't thank him enough!
But right now I gotta split...meeting my partner and another fabulous filly for lunch in Livonia. Lots of JUICY STUFF coming later...
NOVEMBER 5, 2011 SATURDAY 2 PM - SCHOOL'S OUT FOREVER!
The song is a rock anthem. And we'll all join in and sing it loud 'n' proud at the free concert by THE NIGHTMARE at TERRORTOWN TONIGHT! They're a COOL ALICE COOPER TRIBUTE BAND, listen here: http://www.myspace.com/thenightmareinclev
Sound cool? Then get 'yer butt down to TERRORTOWN¬ tonight! The haunt will be open and THE NIGHTMARE will play a live concert. Festivities start at 8 PM. Here's the latest forecast for Maumee tonight: Through 9pm: Sunny with temperatures falling into the low to middle 40s. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.
NOVEMBER 4, 2011 1 AM - SATURDAY NIGHT'S ALRIGHT FOR FUN AT TERRORTOWN
Chance of rain: 0%. Mainly sunny. High near 55F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. That's the weather forecast for Saturday November 5th in Maumee, Ohio.
That's perfect haunting weather, and that's EXACTLY what we'll be doing Saturday starting 8PM at TERRORTOWN in MAUMEE, OHIO! And you can too.
TERRORTOWN has been asked to host the annual OHIO VALLEY HAUNT ROUND-UP PARTY 2011, and MICHIGAN IS INVITED TOO!
The haunt will be open and running strong, and the Alice Cooper tribute band from Detroit THE NIGHTMARE will play a live concert. It's gonna be way cool! Put this address in your GPS or MapQuest: 1406 Key Street, Maumee, Ohio. It's close to Toledo, so it's not far from Michigan!
The haunt features THE LONGEST BLACK HOLE we've ever seen! It's actually SIX of them placed end-to-end for a total of 120 FEET OF SPINNING INSANITY! They used red paint only, and the units are all in perfect synchronization. IT IS WAY TRIPPY!
And if you're a haunt operator, there's a special deal for you and your performers only. For only $10 you'll get the haunt, concert, and access to a special heated tent with a deluxe food spread, beer, pop, etc.
It's also a BIG NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY, because other haunts from OHIO, INDIANA, AND KENTUCKY will be there too. See you there!
NOVEMBER 2, 2011 1 PM - THE SURPRISE RETURN OF DR. PLASMODIUS
The first haunted house we ever talked about on¬ Zioptis Dial-A-Trip was the long defunct MAXWORLD in DETROIT. It was 1989 I think, and it was the most interactive haunt we had yet seen. They wanted you to play "Cosmic Chess" with them, immersed you in optical illusions, and changed a maze path while you were in it.
They also offered a chance to be operated on by a doctor who looked like he got his medical license from a bubble gum machine. He had a wild look in his eyes, and he sat you down in a dental chair. He confused you quickly with talk about being part of the "bewildered brethren," and said that your prognosis called for immediate "digital surgery," which was WILD!
His moniker was DOCTOR PLASMODIUS, and we ended up becoming fast friends for many years. Then he moved to Lansing to work with GM, and we eventually lost touch. Until last night...
We were at the OZRIC TENTACLES concert, and had seen several people we knew would be there. The concert ended...we were just about to leave...suddenly a familiar voice from the past beckoned. "HEY!" Wow, guess who after all these years?
YUP, DOCTOR PLASMODIUS in the flesh! We talked and joked around, sharing stories from the front lines of life. The staff finally told us we had to leave, so we continued chatting in the parking lot before trading contact info. What an awesome haunted ending to an already perfect evening!
More reviews coming real soon...
NOVEMBER 1, 2011 1 PM -¬ YOU CAN'T HURRY LOVE
Sipping on the hazelnut, getting ready to do some more reviews...as many as possible before leaving for the OZRIC TENTACLES concert tonight! Patience, my little monkeys...you can't hurry perfection, and you can't hurry love. You just gotta wait, I said Sha-La-La Give It Time...
NOVEMBER 1, 2011 1 AM - THE GLUE OF FRIENDSHIP
We had a blast on Halloween, hope you did too! After A NIGHTMARE ON ELM ROAD we ended up at an off-the-hook crazy yard haunt on Spartan's Drive in Hamburg Township. It was a giant impromptu street party with great cheer and great candy!
But in talking with people about their costumes, haunted houses and such we were reminded that Halloween is about much more than fantasy, imagination, and candy. It's about shared experiences, the glue that fastens friendships.
Facing danger together...laughing and slapping high fives...sloshing down cider and donuts...confronting your deepest fears...feeling the bite of autumn winds on a hayride with a million stars smiling on you...
It's presented as a wacky form of entertainment, but it goes way deeper than that. Somewhere down the road, you'll find out who your loyal friends truly are. And there's a very good chance those will be the same people you had awesome shared experiences with. I met my best friend when she was 15 and I was 20. Guess what we did together once-upon-a-time?
WELCOME TO THE CLUB, IT'S AN AWESOME PLACE TO BE.
OCTOBER 31, 2011 5 PM - WANDERING TO WEBBERVILLE
Ok, it's official. Our last haunt of the regular season is also one we've never been to before in Wonderful Webberville. So we're off to A NIGHTMARE ON ELM ROAD tonight, and who knows where else!
We used to get lost every year trying to find new haunts in places we've never been, often with dirt roads and no city lights for miles and miles. But now with GPS, we gleefully wander anywhere we want without even really knowing where we're at! No problem, Mandy will tell us where to turn next.
OCTOBER 31, 2011 3 PM - GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
We've seen and experienced so many amazing things this season! There were many highlights and individual quirks, and they need to be recognized. So in December we'll present the TOP AWARDS FOR 2011.
OCTOBER 31, 2011 11:30 AM - Decisions, decisions...so many celebrations tonight...so many cool yard haunts...EREBUS and REALM OF DARKNESS¬ are open...a few other haunts too...we may end up flipping a coin!
OCTOBER 31, 2011 11 AM - Just had a call from a friend asking if we're going to the OZRIC TENTACLES concert tomorrow in Ferndale at the Magic Bag. YES! We wouldn't miss it, it's one of our favorite pioneers of the Progressive/Space Rock scene from the UK and their amazing light show¬ is legendary! Catch a sample of them live at http://youtu.be/3AWBfrTjc0Q
OCTOBER 31, 2011 2 AM - HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM ZIOPTIS!
TO FEEL LIKE A KID AGAIN
What three simple words conjure up imagery of childlike innocence and magic feelings of role-playing aspiration? That's easy. "Trick or Treat!" Ah, those magic words...are they still echoing in your mind? I hope so.
In childhood we learned how make-believe and fantasy role-playing could enrich our lives largely thru Halloween. And it even tasted good!
My brothers and I used pillow cases on our way to collect our just rewards of laughter and sugar based thrills. Some naughty kids switched costumes and hit the same houses again for extra candy. But we never tried it, we couldn't risk Santa punishing us come Christmas time. He's always watching, you know.
We had a neighborhood costume contest each year. All the kids marched down the block in hopes of winning even more candy and bragging rights that lasted much longer than the Snickers and Baby Ruth bars.
I'm the youngest of four boys, and one year my oldest brother took first place in the contest with his homemade robot get-up. It was made from cardboard boxes, wire, switches, a battery, and light bulbs he flashed as fast as he could.
That was the only time I remember being allowed to tag along with him for Halloween. I can still remember all four of us proudly marching in that Halloween parade, happy and free from cares. Ignorance is bliss.
But today's world doesn't seem so care free, and is much crueler than when we waited for our next Halloween adventure. We learned that life doesn't care about your dreams. We learned life doesn't care about your plans. And worst of all, we learned life isn't fair.
It seems just too far away sometimes... but really it's all a state-of-mind. In a world where the only constant is change, I can still experience that same joy and once again hear those same songs in the hearts of the kids on the sidewalks every October 31st.
So if some dreary day before next October you feel down knowing that society and life don't care, just remember that the special day will come again. You'll role-play and fantasize without shame and relive childlike innocence. Or dress up like a tramp and get away with it, maybe even be commended and rewarded!
Whatever your little heart desires is ok! And you won't need ruby red slippers or to click your heels together three times. All you need is to keep in your heart and soul the spirit of those three magic, timeless words: "Trick or Treat!"
And you'll feel like a kid again.
OCTOBER 30, 2011 - DEVIL'S NIGHT DELIGHT!
Wow, tonight we're hitting 4 haunts we've never been to before! We had a lot of other temptations though...
NOW PLAYING ON ZIOPTIS DIAL-A-TRIP - A WAY OLD EPISODE from 1989 inspired by MAXWORLD. It featuresTod Dockstader's "Luna Park" at the end, who we referenced in a review earlier this year. Give it a listen at (313) 274-1111.
OCTOBER 30, 2011 1 PM - NEVER FORGET YOUR HERITAGE & ROOTS
Last night we went to the WESTLAND JAYCEES CRYPT OF CARNAGE. Their budget was less than half of what they had in 2010. But considering the improvement as compared to last year, you'd think it had doubled. And we're talking about LESS than $3,000 available for this year!
WOW, how did they do it?
By doing stuff that kids don't learn from iPads, the internet, or sadly many times from their own parents or in school. Stuff that often gets swept under the carpet, in a world where instant gratification and 15 seconds of fame on the internet for saying or doing something really stupid are considered worthy goals. Forgotten virtues like persistence, building depth of character, thriftiness, team spirit, and giving back to society.
And don't forget that the haunt genre itself owes its very existence in no small part due to the early efforts of JAYCEE HAUNTED HOUSES!
REVIEWS RE-ARRANGED - We had put the reviews in reverse alphabetical order in an "equal billing" type of effort. But it was too confusing, so we've gone back to ascending order. Not all experiments work out, just ask Thomas Edison!
Our apologies to WESTLAND HAUNTED WOODS for missing them last night.
OCTOBER 29, 2011 4 PM - TURKEYS AND PUMPKINS AND JAYCEES, OH MY!
Tonight we're finishing off Wayne County, it should be awesome! (See What's Next)