Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Crayola Silly Scents pencils

I was at a strip mall with my wife, and while she shopped for nursing scrubs at one store, I took the chance to escape off to a different one.  Finding myself in an national office supplies store, I strolled through the aisles passively, occasionally taking time to sit in an office chair and spin around, or flip through the dozens of varieties of neon-colored paper.  I'd pretty much given up on my adventure when I stumbled upon these...

Silly Scents "fun-smelling" pencils from Crayola!  These were discounted, and also available in a crayon variety, which in retrospect, may have been a better option.  The crayons came in a box of sixteen, featuring some colors/flavors not included in my package, such as Alien Armpit and Sunburnt Cyclops.

I remember having scented markers growing up, as shown above, and they were pretty much the greatest things in the history of man.  Besides having all the functionality of standard markers, the smells actually worked, and were typically so sublime I'd often come out of my bedroom at dinnertime and arrive at the kitchen table with colored marks on my nose to the confusion of my parents.

I'm going to look at each of the names, colors, and scents separately.  Let's get sniffing!

Being a big fan of seafood, lady Lobster Lips certainly spoke to me, and I was hoping for an aroma akin to the smell of the interior of a Red Lobster restaurant.  Lips' wardrobe is divine, complete with a green hat adorned by a flower, to show her playful side, and finishing off with a matching handbag and orange high heels.  Watch out town, it's ladies night and Lobster Lips fees alright!  Now, in terms of smell, I'd have to say "rose" is the closest conceivable comparison I could make.  It's kind of a nice scent, like perfume, perhaps signaling Lobster Lips' favorite fragrance when she's out at the club.  The shade of red is great, as a child red was my favorite color, and this definitely does my childhood champion justice.

Our pal Ghoulish looks like a troubled, pixelated soul, with angry, yellow eyes, and gigantic teeth that look capable of chaotic chomping.  He's easily the least friendly looking of the bunch, and I wonder if that quality will be apparent in his scent, too.  It's a good thing I'm doing this in the privacy of my apartment, as if I was seen in public sniffing pieces of paper and laughing hysterically I'd probably be locked up.  Well, in what I feel is an ominous sign of things to come, the smell here is almost indistinguishable, still fragrant in that artificial perfume-like way, with touches of oak and spice.  You'd think graham cracker would be a pretty easy scent to recreate--but apparently not.  In terms of color, it's not even a nice, solid brown, but more a brown/red amalgam that does little for my artistic palette.

Sasquatch looks awesome, preparing to go for a jog, rocking some vintage red Converse shoes.  He also sports bed ruffled hair and a serious overbite.  This is the type of Sasquatch that, if encountered in public, you wouldn't run away from, but instead have over for tea and cranberry scones.  His smell is either floral or like cleaning solution, much alike the first two, and dreadfully I'd wager similar to the rest of these.  I was hoping for some funky gym sock must.  His color is fine, though, a nice, bright orange that'd come in handy around Halloween time.

Monkey must be like some type of mascot, as he's pictured largely on the back of the package, but if you think that means he's going to have a more discernible scent, you're totally wrong.  While my brain seems to want to believe there's some citrus involved, that's likely just a mental connection with its yellow color, ultimately this just smells like floral perfume like the others.  What gives, Crayola?  Monkey has a silly hat on, and is whistling like a goof, so we're led to believe he's a playful mammal, yet one whose breath apparently reeks of lilacs. 

Starting the second-half of the pencils, we take a turn for the better, as I really, really like Fairy Tale Forest.  Now, if they'd went with a full-on Christmas theme, as I'd wrongly presumed, it'd be near perfect.  In terms of scent, not drastically different from its fragrant brethren, but similar enough to the pine smell of a fresh Christmas tree to work magic on my senses.  The character itself is kind of lame, just a rabidly cheerful tree, but I seriously dig the color, my favorite by far, a real deep, forest green that I'll be keeping around.

I love the name, sounds like a bad, middle school, garage band's name.  "We're Zombie Laundry, and we're here to fuck some ass!"  "Gross, Billy, asses are disgusting" says the drummer Todd, "forget practice, let's go eat some junk food and play video games!"  The smell?  You guessed it--like old ass perfume.  But there's kind of a hint of laundry detergent (at least that's what I want to believe) that makes this one a touch cooler than the others.  I really like the color, too, very similar to denim jeans and runner-up in that category.  The character's awesome as well, a disgruntled and annoyed zombie, sent to do the laundry when he'd rather relax after a long day at work.  The mental image this concocts is worth the price of these pencils alone.

At this point my cat Tomo wanted to know what I was doing sniffing stuff on the kitchen table and came to get a closer look and investigate.

Not a huge fan of the character, a little too gross for this set, and would be better suited in the Garbage Pail Kids line.  The idea of a fairy in a thrift store dress, sporting some rotten ass teeth, just creeps me right the fuck out.  The color is nice, a deep purple that has some versatility, continuing the streak of three really great colors in a row.  The smell is, once again, floral and fragrant, with a slight possibility of some berry thrown in there, too.  Yes, Tomo is trying to eat the pencil...

This one's pretty disgusting, too, but a lot more fun.  A giant ogre, knee-deep in his own green, vile, snot ooze.  Kids will love it!  I can just imagine the pitch meeting at Crayola corporate headquarters.  This is about as equally offensive as the chili shit I forgot to flush at my cousin's house last weekend--sorry, bro!  This one smell's like coal and railroad worker sweat--just kidding, it smells exactly like the rest of these indistinguishable scent whores.

I think the illustrated version of me says it all...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Brian's Home Videos #1

Back in 2000 I got what, at the time, as a state of the art digital camcorder.  It wasn’t until January of 2009 a buddy with some hook-ups scored me a cable that allowed me to easily upload my footage to a PC.  Don’t ask me why I didn’t look into one before—I have no idea.  Regardless, now it’s time to unleash some of my home videos on the World.

I have countless hours of footage I shot over the last decade.  Everything ranging from short films, to comedic skits, Jackass-style stunts, backyard wrestling events, and random hanging out and chicanery.  I’ll be posting videos randomly in the weeks and months to come, in no particular order, so check back occasionally to see what’s new.  I hope you enjoy watching some of these at least half as much as my awesome friends and I had making them!


The Search for Daffy 
Shot: 6/2/01 (Pigeon Forge, TN) 8 min. 29 sec.

During a vacation to Gatlinburg, TN some friends and I got bored one evening and decided to shoot a short film around the area of our motel in Pigeon Forge.  The plot is simple, and ridiculous, as an inline skater (Steve) steals two scooter-riding friends’ (Didge and myself) Daffy doll.  This leads to an all-out wild, crazy chase as they try to regain their feathered friend.  It was basically just an excuse for us to implement some of what we then thought were cool skating tricks hid behind a paper-thin plot.

Human Jumping, Pepper Swallowing, and Car Sliding 
Shot: 7/18/01 & 7/20/01 (Hamilton, OH) 3 min. 19 sec.

This is a short collection of random clips.  Up first, Nick and Jessie attempt “Human Jumping” with predictably disastrous results.  Two days later, we’re at Steak ‘N Shake for random conversation, Jessie’s grotesque pepper swallowing stunt, and Nick attempting to slide across Jessie’s car’s hood only for him to hit reverse and let Nick eat asphalt.  These clips are incredibly accurate examples of how I spent the majority of my teenage nights.

Trip to Ed's House II 
Shot: 6/16/01 (Hamilton, OH) 3 min. 34 sec.

Jessie and I wake up hometown punk rock legend Eddie in the middle of the night, disturbing the barely clothed teen’s beauty rest, then silly string him, and finally, drag him from his crawlspace bedroom out into the night to explore an abandoned house.  This video probably doesn’t have a ton of widespread appeal, but is a nice snapshot of a random late night in the summer of ’01, and I find it inexplicably amusing.

UWO: Brian Banner and Psycho Dreamer brawl in the snow 
Shot: 1/31/03 (Hamilton, OH) 3 min. 54 sec.

A large group of friends and I started a backyard wrestling federation (the UWO) in May of ’97 that lasted over a decade.  This skit is from it, as newcomer Brian Banner (yours truly) bumps into veteran Psycho Dreamer outside of UWO headquarters resulting in an impromptu brawl that sees tables explode, debris everywhere, and ultimately two men crumbled together in the snow and mud.

In Search of Duck Alley 
Shot: 6/27/01 (Hamilton, OH) 5 min. 48 sec.

I almost didn’t upload this because it’s embarrassingly bad.  I had a couple minutes left on a tape, so, to finish it off Jessie and I came up with some ludicrous concept that we were “special agents” sent on a “secret mission” to infiltrate the infamous Duck Alley.  It ended up actually being a long driveway to some backwoods, gun-toting, militia house so we sped off, only to cruise around making obscure, off-color comments, observing farm animals, etc.