Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Top 5 Halloween Editions of Food (2012)

We missed a few days thanks to Frankenstorm, but we're back on track now--just in time for Halloween!

Halloween brings us lots of things every year--candy, parties, a reason for men to dress in drag--but it also brings us Halloween-themed packages of our favorite foodstuffs!  Sometimes the food inside has been slightly altered to fit the theme, other times not, but either way, we love it.  Here's our top 5 favorite from this year (and since we've missed the past few days, we'll throw in a few that didn't make the cut).  Note, you won't find Count Chocula or his brethren on this list--they are always Halloween themed...

5: Nestle Nesquik - The Nestle bunny is a mummy in this edition, and the bottle is adorned with a full moon glowing over cobwebs and a spider.  The glow in the dark bunny on the bottle sealed the deal for this chocolate milk and got it on the board.  Of course, unless your fridge has glass doors, or you're leaving your milk out for extended periods of time, I'm not sure you'd ever see it glow, but that's beside the point.

4: Kool-Aid Ghoul-Aid - The name is in ghastly green writing up against a full moon.  There are bats and the Kool-Aid Man dressed up like a vampire.  I assume--he has a cape and the rest of the look, but no fangs.  Oh well.  The package is purple, which looks pretty good, and this one gets points for the name and the flavor (scary blackberry).  This could have been done a little better with a couple more details, but overall its they did a nice job.

3: Halloween Oreo - The center of the package is a cauldron filled with Oreo creme filling which some witches have turned orange in some nefarious Halloween-related plot.  The background is a cool blue laboratory with a couple jack-o-lanterns tossed in on the side.  There are two really noticeable things about this--the use of color is superb (the orange really glows on the blue background), and the witches eyes are hidden, which prevents them from being either too creepy or too cartoony.  That's just perfect.  The Oreos taste like normal Oreos, but they're filled with the orange creme (presumably from the cauldron) and have pictures of witches on them.  Nice job, National Biscuit Company!

2: Quaker Chewy Fright Night Chocolate Chip with Candy Pieces - Bats, vampire jack-o-lanterns, a spooky mansion, an eerie green color--this seriously contends for number 1.  It falls short for two reasons.  First, the Quaker from the logo is front and center--they could have at least dressed him up.  Second, there's no mention of Halloween!  Why?  Probably so as to not offend those who think it's the Devil's holiday (maybe, Quakers?).  Lame.  But still, nice job with the packaging, and they taste good too!

1: Cap'n Crunch's Halloween Crunch - The good Cap'n went all out this year, bringing us a unique limited edition cereal that turns your milk an eerie (gross) green color!  The box looks very cool--it's got bats, floating eyes, and jack-o-lanterns, and is just this side of spooky.  The back features a Cap'n jack-o-lantern pattern for anyone who inexplicably wants to carve him into a pumpkin.

Happy Halloween!  Don't forget to leave us a comment below and like us on Facebook!  And now, the bonus feature:

Haunted Chips Ahoy - Not sure that's really the name, because there are random Halloween words scattered on the package, but overall, they did a pretty good job and may have made the top 5 if not for a glowing rabbit.

YoCrunch - Vampire, bat, and jack-o-lantern on the package which purports to have m&m's but really has Reese's Pieces (seriously).  

Table Talk - The Pumpkin Pie is a fall-themed one, which is okay for Halloween; the Apple Pie has jack-o-lanterns and a ghost, but really, both are pretty boring.  They need to dump the white on the package and try again next year.  But they played the game, so good for them.

Entenmann's Holiday Golden Cupcakes - First, I thought the company was Entermann's, so I've been saying it wrong for years.  Second, this package is really good and made a run at the top 5.  The actual cupcakes add to the look as well--nice job!

Garelick TruMoo Chocolate Milk - They didn't have much room to work with, but they put together a nice little Halloween scene with the classic witch flying past the full moon, bats, haunted mansion, and jack-o-lantern.  This is probably not anyone's favorite, but it's a nice entry.

Hostess - The Cupcakes package is Halloween themed, with bats, a full moon, pumpkins, and maybe a costumed Hostess guy (is he new? maybe he always looks like that).  But the cupcakes are the same.  The Snowballs, however, have turned orange, which is perfect for Halloween, but the packaging has not changed.  Get your shit together, Hostess, and try again next year.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Top 5: Frankenstorm-Related Craziness

Frankenstorm is on its way, ready to ruin Halloween for thousands of children in the northeastern United States.  Despite it not being a terribly powerful storm in wind speed, it is enormous, and a confluence of various other events (a full moon, high tides, other poorly placed weather fronts, etc.) caused anticipation of "Sandy" being the storm of the century.  This kind of rhetoric, as usual, causes insanity in normally sane people.  Like this:

"It's alive!  ALIVE!"
5: Hundreds of people bought generators.  Simultaneously, many fire departments had mandatory meetings to discuss how to best address, in storm conditions, fires started by people who bought generators but don't know how to properly operate them.  Coincidence?

4: Four idiots were on the golf course.  Because when a storm chock full of lightning and flying debris is happening, you want to find yourself an open field and hold a metal pole.  And playing a game like golf in those kind of conditions is pretty brilliant too.

3: There was a huge run on water at the store.  Because when too much water falls from the skies and there's a chance of flooding, you need to gather as much extra water as you can.  Okay, I get the difference between drinking water and rainwater, but seriously, if a tree falls on your house, you aren't going to be trapped for a month--you don't need a bomb-shelter's supply worth of H2O.

2: The news doesn't stop talking about Frankenstorm.  Because there is nothing more interesting happening, say, for example, the impending election of the leader of the free world.

1: Three people were raking their leaves into piles.  Because when you expect 60-mph wind gusts, piled leaves will stay piled and off your lawn.  Everyone else's leaves will stay off your lawn too--there's no way you'll need to repeat that work.

If you haven't lost power, share your Frankenstorm stories below!  (If you have lost power, how are you reading this?)  And find us on Facebook for no additional coverage of the storm.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Top 5 Ridiculous "Sexy" Costumes

Sooz here, reminding you that Halloween is right around the corner!  And as you probably know, all women are supposed to look sexy for Halloween.  It's a time honored tradition, like carving a jack-o-lantern and eating your kids' trick or treat candy after they've gone to bed.  Today we have pulled together the top 5 most ridiculous "sexy" costumes for you to check out.  We actually found so many that it was hard to narrow it down and I'm actually in a little bit of pain from all the eye rolling I've been doing.  You're welcome, readers.   

5: Sexy Kitchen Objects - We have the sexy hamburger; its terrible bun to meat ratio aside, even the model is like "are you seriously selling this thing?"  We also have the sexy red solo cup, and much like a regular solo cup, she's ready to be filled with cheap beer.

4: Sexy Super Mario - Remember that fat mustachioed guy from the video game?  For some reason he has been turned into this.  It's amazing what a few hormone pills and a shave can do for a guy.

3: Naughty Nemo - Still searching for Daddy.  Sugar daddy, preferably.  Walt Disney is probably rolling in his cryogenic chamber.

2: Sexy Chucky - Yup, the creepy, murdering, male, child doll has been turned into a sexy adult female costume.  But WHY????

1: Sexy Miss Piggy - Are you kidding me?  I think my first thought was that there couldn't possibly be something less sexy than Miss Piggy, but then I stumbled upon these other gems.  (And does she always have a crazy drunk eye thing happening?  Now that I've noticed, it's very disconcerting.)

As someone who goes the funny route with costumes (I'm talking the Staypuft Marshmallow Man here) I can't take any more of this.  However, next year I will keep my eyes peeled for a Sexy Recycling Bin and maybe a Sexy Ewok.  Rest assured, I will share my findings with all of you.

Have you seen any costumes that you found ridiculous?  Please share in the comments below.  And you can always like us on Facebook!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Top 5 Spelling Songs

Teaching a child how to spell is hard, but music is available to ease the burden.  You just need to know where to find it.  Well luckily for you, should your kid need to learn spelling, the Kooz Top 5 is here with the top 5 spelling songs.

5: Lola (The Kinks) - "I met her in a club down in old SoHo where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry cola, C-O-L-A, cola..."  You probably don't let your kid have soda, but it's important to learn anyway.  There's lots you know how to spell that you don't do.

4: Safety Dance (Men Without Hats) - "S-A-F-E-T-Y, safe-t dance..." Safety is important!  Now if only they spelled "dance," which is equally important.

3: Respect (Aretha Franklin) - "R-E-S-P-E-C-T; find out what it means to me..."  We said spelling, not enunciation, so your guess is as good as mine for whatever she says after that.  Either way, you'll want your child to know how to spell this word, since they'll never show you that they know what it means.

2: YMCA (The Village People) - "It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A..."  Scraping the bottom of the barrel...

1: Nuthin But a G Thang (Dr. Dre with Snoop Doggy Dogg) - "It's the capital S, oh yes, I'm fresh, N double-O P, D O double-G Y D O double-G, ya see."  Yes, I subject my kid to Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre.   My kid is cool, in an early 1990's sort of way.

There.  Now your kid will be able to spell every word of the oft-used phrase: "respect cola safety," in addition to spelling doggy, incorrectly spelling dog ("dogg"), and "spelling" YMCA.  My child is doomed.   If you learned something today, tell us in the comments below.  Or, you can just point out the songs we missed.   Don't forget to visit us on Facebook and come back tomorrow for another top 5!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Top 5 Pumpkin Ales (2012)

I discovered something I hadn't previously known--I love pumpkin ales.  This is odd--I don't like spiced beers, I don't care for pumpkin pie, and I only like fruit beers (strawberry or cherry) in the summer on a hot day as a refreshing twist.  But I have given myself so completely over to pumpkin ales, and I try them every chance I get.  I've been lucky to have some really good ones this year (they're perfect for getting into the Halloween spirit).  Here's my top 5 for 2012.

5: New Holland Ichabod Ale (New Holland Brewing Company, 5.5 abv) - It has a very cool label, but there's too much cinnamon and too little pumpkin.  This beer has potential to move up the list next year if it can just balance those flavors.

4: Hipp-O-Lantern (River Horse Brewing Co., 8.1 abv) - The spices come out more in this beer than any other on the list, so it's a little unbalanced, but it's still pretty good.  The pumpkin flavor is strong and nice, but the high alcohol content gives it a boozy quality that never quite matures, and the mouthfeel leaves something to be desired.  Overall, it's not a bad beer taste-wise;.

3: Imperial Pumking (Southern Tier Brewing Co., 9.0 abv) - This is a really nice pumpkin ale.  The high alcohol content is pretty prevalent at first, but dissolves into a pleasant warmth as you drink it.  It's certainly a sipping beer and is perfect for after a meal.

2: Punkin Ale (Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, 7.0 abv) - Cinnamon and pumpkin in the nose (though not overpowering); nutmeg and cloves in the taste.  This is really good, as anyone familiar with Dogfish Head has come to expect.

1: Pumpkin Pie (Chelsea Brewing Company, unknown abv) - Maybe it was because they rimmed the pint glass with cinnamon and sugar, or maybe it's because the beer is simply exceptional (I had some in a separate glass without the cinnamon and sugar first to give it a fair review), but this beer tops the list.  It's full-bodied and creamy, with a smooth finish and the subtle taste of cinnamon and pumpkin/squash.  Yes, I know how that sounds, but just trust me--it's worth it.

Use the comments section to tell us about your favorite pumpkin ales, and check out our top 5 Oktoberfest brews as well.  And of course, visit us on Facebook and like our page!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Top 5 Classic Halloween Monsters

Last week we mulled over the best Halloween critters.   Today, with Halloween less than ten days away, we go classic with the best Halloween monsters.  Let's see if you agree...

"Hey Abbott!" 
5: Mummy - Abbott and Costello met the mummy back in the day, testifying to the monster's popularity.  Although Brendan Fraser gave the creature a brief comeback, the mummy's popularity has waned.  That said, there's something creepy and cool about the reanimated and cursed remains of ancient Egyptian pharaohs.

4: Zombie - In recent years, zombies have successfully made a big push for admittance into the exclusive club of popular movie monsters.  In my estimation, they've moved ahead of mummies and supplanted the creature from the black lagoon in the top 5.  Recent years have seen zombies get very fast and, as a result, significantly more menacing.  Although, to count as a Halloween monster, zombies need to be reanimated dead guys, not simply suffering from some virus.

Wolfmen make the best basketball players.
3: Werewolf - These are the only monsters on the list that aren't among the undead.  Werewolves are immensely popular in multiple genres, from the scary Werewolf of London to the funny Teen Wolf to the thriller Wolf.  Werewolves have also been around for millenia, with some of the earliest stories going back to the ancient Greeks!

"I got a rock."
2: Ghost - You simply can't have Halloween without ghosts.  You just can't.  It doesn't matter if they are translucent figures who carry on conversations, kids draped in sheets with eye holes, or the pretend kind that ghost hunters catch--you just need ghosts for Halloween.

"You want me to suck what?!?"
1: Vampire - From the creepy Nosferatu to the elegant Dracula to the cool Lestat to the wussy Edward, vampires have remained relevant for centuries.  As one of the few monsters with the ability to interact with people on an intellectual level, vampires are inherently more interesting than other monsters.  Add in all their cool abilities and the result is the top Halloween monster by far.  Besides, what other monster is so pervasive that it has inspired both a breakfast cereal and a Sesame Street character?  None.

Okay, so where is Frankenstein's monster?  Well, he's an individual example of a reanimated corpse (or, I guess, multiple corpses), so I think he is fairly classifies as a zombie.  I think an argument can be made that skeletons are in the same boat, more or less.  I see witches as people, not monsters, but I can understand if your list includes them.   Speaking of, why don't you put your top 5 in the comments?  Let's see how your lists compare!  Find more Kooz Top 5 Halloween-themed posts here, and visit us on Facebook while your wasting time online!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Top 5 Things I Need You to Go Ahead and Not Do While in the Same Line as Me

Did you know Wednesday was a Stuff and Save day at Old Navy?  No?  That's weird, since everyone else in the entire world was there during my delightful shopping trip that lovely night. While waiting in line, forever, I thought of the top 5 things I need you to go ahead and stop doing if you are in the same line as me.  Here you go.

5. Complaining about the employees - Really? You seriously think they don't care how long they are here and are intentionally slowing down your shopping experience even though the store was supposed to close half an hour ago? Actually, they (like me) can't wait to get home and away from you.

4. Complaining about customers in front of you - What's that?  You think it's annoying that they're getting 40% off all that stuf  Why are you here again?  Oh, to get 40% off all the crap in your arms. Funny that.

3. Being inconsiderate - So you saw a baby blanket fall off the stroller of that customer ahead of you buying all that stuff, and all you can do is chat about it?  Well thanks for letting me back in line after I run ahead and pick it up for them.  I guess you can be considerate sometimes, so good for you.

2. Trying to sneak in front of me - Yes, I noticed you get into line behind me.  Perhaps I was alerted by your big sigh and muttering about the length of the line.  So even though you're going to play like you're taking a moment to look at the items a little further up from us, and then decide you should now stand next to me, I know you're supposed to be behind me.  And the turning around to see how long the line has become and simultaneously scoot in front of me?  Not going to fly, so cut the crap, instead of the line.

1. Leaning on me - No.  Not okay.  I don't know you; don't invade my personal space.  Much like driving, you should leave a two second space cushion between you and the person in front of you.  And by two second I mean at least a foot.

Thank goodness for cell phones and the internet or I may not have made it through the experience. But next time I will remember that 40% off is not worth the aggravation, even if you do get a free bag!  (Someone may need to remind me of this before Black Friday.)

Ever feel like this? Share your own venting, and maybe even give us some advice, in the comments below.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Top 5: A Vintage Halloween Postcard Education

Apparently, people used to spell Halloween with an apostrophe between the e's (Hallowe'en).  That's just one fun thing I learned looking at old Halloween postcards.  Learn for yourself below!

5: Creepy-ass devils with pitchforks are good (like spiders) in that they keep terrifying pumpkin/gourd monsters at bay.  At least, that's why I'm getting from this.

4: "Gobelins," looking very much like devils, ride "black Bat aeroplanes" around weather vanes on Halloween, but not if it's cloudy.  (The text: "A Starry Hallowe'en: If Hallowe'en's a starry night, You'll see the gobelins in flight, Perched on their black Bat aeroplanes, They flit about the weather vanes!")

3: Apparently, Hallowe'en is for lovers.

2: Knocking owls in the noggin with ink bottles keeps witches away.  (The text is hard to read; it says: "Halloween Precautions: To see a White Owl on Halloween is a sign the witches are near.  Throw a bottle of ink at his head And all are sure to disappear.")

1: Bobbing for apples was, at some point, fun and generally thought of as a good idea.

Seriously, aren't these old Halloween cards charming in their own way?  I would love to get my hands on some...  Anyhow, check out our other Halloween-themed posts here, add your thoughts in the comments below, and find us on Facebook where you can like our page, yada yada yada...  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Top 5 Oktoberfest Beers (2012)

I've had the chance to enjoy several Marzen/Oktoberfest beers this season, and like last year, I've decided to give you my top 5. I'm really interested to hear what you think, since invariably, there are Oktoberfest beers I haven't had a chance to try, so this list is necessarily lacking. That said, let's begin.

5: Victory Festbier (Victory Brewing Company, 5.6) - I was disappointed by this.  It's got a spicy smell and taste, but the spices seem off and out of place.  It's also overly bitter and possibly too heavily hopped.  The spices taste old and linger for much too long.  If you're looking for something exceptional, pass on this.

4: Stoudts Oktober Fest (Stoudts Brewing Co., 5.0) - This was a pretty average Oktoberfest beer.  There's just a kiss of hops to it, and it's crisp with a good mouthfeel, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

3: Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen (Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG, 5.8) - The first Oktoberfest of the season for me, Ayinger brought a nice solid selection, as they do regularly.  There are spices that make it smell warm, and other than being a little thin up front, there's not much terribly wrong with it.  I have it rated as average, but it's a solid selection for Oktoberfest, and you really won't go wrong with it.

2: Narragansett Fest (Narragansett Brewing Co., 5.5 abv) - Who'd have thought something so good could come from a can?  It's a mellow beer with a subtle sweetness that lingers long after the last sip, mixed with some bitterness.  It's got plenty of body and a creamy texture.  It's a good find if you can get your hands on it.

1: Samuel Adams Octoberfest (Boston Beer Company, 5.3 abv) - Say what you will about Sam Adams, but they deliver. Every year their Oktoberfest offering (they spell it with a "c") is good, but this year it's amazing.  It's very smooth and mellow, with perfect carbonation that allows it to coat your mouth with deliciousness without any bite.  The flavor is slightly bitter but it mellows out by the end.  It's an excellent beer.

I know you must have tried some--good or bad, share with us all below, and find us on Facebook and venture to Beer Advocate to learn more about your favorite brews.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Top 5 Chick Flick Quotes (Quiz!)

It's quiz day at the Kooz Top 5!  Do you know what chick flicks these famous quotes are from?

You'll have to add your own quiz show music, sorry.

5. "As you wish!"

4. "Big mistake.  Big.  HUGE.  I have to go shopping now."

3. "Nobody puts baby in the corner."

2. "I'll have what she's having."

1. "You had me at hello."

Take your guesses in the comment section below, and let us know if you think any other movies should have made the list!  We will also accept arguments about the "chick flick" classification.  (And like us on Facebook, blah, blah, blah.)  While you're clicking around, see how you do on our other quizzes.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Top 5 Halloween Animals and Critters

Halloween is just around the corner, so it's time to break into the holiday gently with a simply straightforward list of the best Halloween animals and critters.  Note we did not say "creatures," as this list only contains real animals, not mythical beings like werewolves or zombies.  That list, I suppose, will come later.

5: Rats - Bringers of pestilence and culprits behind the spread of the Black Death, rats make the cut just ahead of wolves (who are generally too often revered in certain cultures to be overly creepy for Halloween).

4: Ravens - Immortalized by Poe, jet-black ravens and crows are Halloween staples.  "'Prophet!' said I, 'Thing of evil!  Prophet still if bird or devil, whether Tempter sent or tempest tossed thee here ashore.'"  

3: Spiders - Spiders are just downright creepy.  They are way too fast for something so small, some of the tiniest among them could kill a person with one bite, and the whole way they go about catching, liquiefying, and eating prey is downright nasty.  Plus, what good haunted castle doesn't have cobwebs?  No spiders, no cobwebs.

2: Bats - In Macbeth, the witches add a bat into their cauldron brew.  Whether they are transformed vampires or just plain old bats, there's something almost unnatural about the patterns they fly.

1: Black Cats - They have historically been seen as evil omens and bringers of bad fortune, and have been associated with witches as familiars (helpers in nefarious deeds).  This Halloween, don't let a black cat cross your path!  (Or... what?  Nothing, but that's no fun, so just play along.)

Are there any animals you associate with Halloween that we missed?  Share in the comments below, and don't forget to find us on Facebook and like our page, or check out our previous Halloween-inspired posts.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Top 5 Joe Biden Snide Debate Remarks

The Vice Presidential debate was last night (some Presidential debates will follow), and I thought Democrat and sitting V.P. Joe Biden walked away the clear winner. How unsettling it must have been for Republican challenger Paul Ryan—every time he looked over at Biden, Biden was grinning and on the verge of laughing. The first debate statement Biden made in response to Ryan leads off today's top 5...

Am I on Candid Camera?
5: Biden's first remark after Ryan stopped talking: “Not a single thing you said was accurate."   He said it with an ear to ear grin too.

4: When directed by the moderator to respond to Ryan and “please be specific,” Biden said, “I’ll be very specific.”  And went on to tear down everything Ryan said, point by point. It was like he was pissed that he had to waste his time responding to this crap.

3: In discussing Ryan's points, Joe said, “this is a bunch of stuff.”  He meant “shit," and nearly said so when the moderator asked what he meant by "stuff."

2: Ryan referenced JFK, and Biden muttered over him, “oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy.”

1: Biden spent the night calling Ryan and referring to him as, “my friend."  Then he'd crap on him and his points.

I spent most of the debate waiting for Ryan to turn to Biden and scream: "Dammit, I’m talking—would you stop laughing, asshole!" He didn't, but man, I think he was close. Did you watch it? What did you think? Share your insights in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Top 5 Shows You Used To Watch When You Stayed Home Sick

Sooz in today, reminiscing about the good old days when the upside of being sick meant a day home from school, laying on the couch watching tv.  With an actual blanket, not a Snuggie.  And back in those days you didn't have to think about what to watch since there were barely three working channels.  Well, at least at my house.  At least how I remember it.  I sort of miss those days, being sick and all.  Here are the top five shows I liked to watch.

Hmm....a little more menacing than I recall.
5. Leave it to Beaver - I actually didn't like this one all that much, since "the Beav" was pretty annoying, but I'm still nostalgic for it.  Just one of those things.  But I can't watch it now without expecting the mother to start talking in Jive.

It can even be a cup!
4. Gilligan's Island - Who knew you could make so may different things out of coconuts?  Cardboard, sure, but coconuts?

Known for doing this.
3. The Love Boat - My first introduction to cruising.  A rotating cast of "stars" from other tv shows kept things interesting, while the regular crew kept us entertained.  Oh, Isaac!   And Charo.  Why was she on it so often?

I am pretty amazing, but I sure could use a good night's sleep.
2. The Bionic Woman - You may not know this, but Lindsay Wagner was pretty awesome before she started selling Sleep Number beds.  I imagine supersonic hearing could drive you mad if not kept under control, but Jaime Sommers tackled that problem by draping her hair over her ear.  Brilliant.  

Even the opening sequences are indistinguishable!
1. Bewitched/ I Dream of Jeannie - No, this isn't a copout tie, they are just pretty much the exact same show.  Here's a test: think about the Bewitched theme song.  Now try to remember the I Dream of Jeannie theme song.  You can't, can you?  Because they are almost exactly the same and your brain can't separate the two!  Point is, magic is cool and these shows were very fun.

So, what did you watch when you were home sick?  And what do you watch now?  It's a whole different ballgame, right?  Tell us about it in the comments below.  And come on over to Facebook and give us a like!