The holiday gauntlet has ended. I survived another year of shuffling through New York and New Jersey to visit family and friends. I'd like to tell you that is all that mattered, that the joy of loved ones makes for the most happiness. But, I can't lie. Even as a dude in his 30s, getting Christmas gifts is still fun. Although I cherish the memories with others more, tearing gifts open is still a blast. I enjoy opening presents and am grateful when something thoughtful is given to me. Christmas 2016 had lots of gracious gifts. Let's take a peek at these presents.
When you receive TMNT toasted marshmallow-scented bubble bath in a Christmas ball-like container, you know it's going to be a jolly season. I'm not sure why this item exists, but praise the sewers, it's eight fluid ounces of amazing. My parents made the right decision in getting me this absurd item. I look forward to a winter season filled with many baths, where I pretend that the Mega Bloks Raphael mini-figure is my rubber duckie. Next time you see me, take a whiff. You may notice a hint of toasted marshmallow.
RANDOM TMNT LOOT
Everyone has a fun aunt, right? Well, I'm lucky enough to have my Aunt Sylvia. Although she couldn't make it to the festivities this year, she was still kind enough to send a box of gifts for everyone. Along with a couple clothing items, she also included a slew of sewer treasures. Aunt Sylvia knows I love Turtles, but her knowledge of my actual collection is little to none - which is totally expected. But that's what I love about this batch of TMNT stuff she gave me. It's such a random assortment. Everything is a little discovery on her trip to the store. Take a look at all these weird items she plucked from the shelves for The Sewer Den. There's a 3D Raphael eraser, a Half-Shell Heroes puzzle, an original cartoon DVD, a grape-flavored candy cane, and my personal favorite, bathtub fizzies. These zany trinkets are fun, dopey Turtle gear at its best. With toasted marshmallow bubble bath and bathtub fizzies, I'll be spending lots of time in the tub during 2017.
2016 was a year of TMNT overload for me. Through work, I covered San Diego Comic Con, New York Comic Con, the TMNT 400 NASCAR race, and RetroCon. I also had the opportunity to film content with the current TMNT cast and crew. It was insane! All of this action was a blast, but zapped my Turtle Power passion by the end of the year. Collecting toys took a backseat. That's why this Dire Beaver figure is such a great gift. Being the only toy of this scale I received over the holidays, the purple piece of plastic refueled my desire for more toys. He's a wacky character and an awesome addition to The Sewer Den.
NEON CACTUS LIGHT
I kill cacti. Give me a cactus, and I assure you, it will die. Over the years, I've had many cacti in all shapes and sizes...and I've killed them all. Too much water, not enough sunlight - there's always a new reason for their demise. But, can I kill an electric cactus? I'm not sure if this gift from my fiancé is a challenge or a nod to my cactus-killing past. The illuminated piece has no Turtle Power, but beams with bright green. That deserves The Sewer Den stamp of approval.
UPDATE: It looks like the lamp overheated or something and is now no longer working. What is wrong with me?! I'm cursed.
2 POPCORN TINS
Family and friends couldn't resist the lure of mediocre snacking at a reasonable price. They presented me with not one, but two TMNT popcorn tins. Doubt crept into my mind. Two tubs of any food is dangerous. Could I really eat all this popcorn myself? Thankfully, I didn't have to find out. A few friends joined me for a night of TMNT tins and a Fuller House binge session. We devoured those 3 flavors. It was gross, it was a Christmas miracle.
Baseball and Halloween have a lot in common. September is like Halloween's Spring Training. Shake off the rust and then October morphs into a ghoulish party. It's like cheering for your favorite team in the post season...for an entire month! It's a gauntlet of celebrating. But instead of peanuts and crackerjacks, it's horror movies and pumpkin beers. The spooky pennant will become a fixture of my seasonal celebration. It's devilish design knocks it our the park. Go team Halloween!
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS MAP
My neighborhood in New York City is called Washington Heights. We've lived here for over 3 years. Although still in Manhattan, the spot is less congested and has a solid neighborhood feel. You see a lot of the same faces and there's a sense of community. It's also the home of the Cloisters inside Fort Tryon Park - one of New York City's best attractions off the beaten path. Although I'm dying to escape the city and have more elbow room inside a suburban house, this neighborhood is awesome. My fiancé knows this too, and that's why she got me this vintage map of our street. Eventually, this will be framed and act as a memento of our youthful years in the Big Apple. But for now, you can all analyze it and try to track me down!
Bloggers like words. This gift puts words in the spotlight, literally. The marquee sign combines my enthusiasm for words and my passion for cinema in one convenient box of light. My parents did a solid job with this gift. It's visually engaging and entertaining. Forming phrases and creating aesthetically pleasing layouts is surprisingly challenging. The letters are semi-limiting, but this encourages creativity instead of being a handicap. I lucked out with TMNT, an easy 4 letter acronym to display. But, The Sewer Den? It was more difficult to write than a blog post! Bloggers and their words...
Another successful season in the books. Great times with great people and lots of great gifts. I'm thankful and looking forward to enjoying all these treats in 2017. Happy New Year to all of you!