Friday, November 2, 2012

misspulga's Poetry Corner

The crisp and cold November dries
My lips.
The leaves fall off the trees -
Of day, the nights grow long
As darkness slowly sings its song.

This night the Heavens dance for me,
While stars
Shine bright for all to see
And snow-
Flakes spark upon the ground
(Their silence in itself, a sound).

My heart, embraced, sets free my mind.
My soul,
It soars through space and time...
While cheeks
Are numbed by glacial air
And icy winds wisp through my hair.

I wait: The Earth, so peaceful, stirs...
The sky -
Dark palette; color smears
And warmth
Upon horizon seeps
To meet the frozen diamond peaks.

My circumstance becomes more clear
Through eyes 
Still fogged by winter tears...
I catch
Myself adrift below;
A vessel on the melting snow.

Toronto Zombie Walk, 2012

"Zombiachis", a.k.a. Mariachi Zombies
The Vampire and I attended the Toronto Zombie Walk on October 20th. This year was the walk's 10th anniversary, and was organized in support of the Heart & Stroke Foundation. To promote this partnership, the Heart & Stroke Foundation released an extremely clever public service announcement: "The Undeading"... The tagline of their campaign is "CPR Makes You Undead". Check out this awesome video below!

Despite the weather being crappy, the rain held off and the walk was a success (more about that to come later in this post). The Vamp and I needed sustenance in order to fulfill our zombiefied journey, so we started the day off at Fancy Franks - a gourmet hot dog restaurant a few blocks west of Spadina on College. The restaurant has a funky atmosphere and their food is out-of-this-world delicious!!! We highly recommend this restaurant - 5 skulls out of 5! :-D

Exterior of Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs (photo taken from The Grid TO website)
misspulga's meal: "Frank's Got Seoul", with hand-cut fries

Frank's Got Seoul (rib meat, kimchi, green onions and sesame seeds)

The Vampire's meal: Frank's Fancy-aano (prosciutto wrapped dog, arugula, 
parmigiano reggiano and balsamic dijon mustard)
Once fully nourished, the Vamp and I headed southeast to Nathan Phillips Square for the main event. There were lots of fantastically imaginative costumes, as well as an ample amount of the requisite moaning and lurching that one would expect. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves immensely... By far, however, the highlights of this year's Zombie Walk were the following:

  • The Heart & Stroke Foundation gave away free tickets to their Guinness World Records CPR event and Hallowe'en Haunt, which took place at Canada's Wonderland on October 25th. Not only was this extremely generous of them, but they also did a great service to Toronto by instructing CPR to so many people... It was especially great to hear that so many young people participated! ***Everyone should be trained in CPR.***      (Update: The Heart & Stroke Foundation smashed the previously held USA record and ended up training 5,020 people in CPR during this event! Amazing!)
  • Grand Marshals John Russo and Russ Streiner (Writer and Producer of 'Night of the Living Dead') made a guest appearance, and helped judge the costume contest!!! Who better to officiate this event? Not only are these gentlemen legends in the film industry, but they also happen to be really cool guys with a great sense of humour.
  • A bloody casket was made available for gruesome photo-ops. Whoever came up with this idea is a genius. :-D
  • The vendors were cool... I especially enjoyed the booth with all the juicy brain jewelry! As soon as I find out the name of the artist, I will post it here so you procure some of her ghoulish creations for yourself!
  • Everyone who came out to support the event... You're all awesome! I was so impressed by the time, energy and creativity that people put into their costumes (we love you, Zombiachis!)... It was definitely for a worthy cause! :-D 

Please enjoy our photos from the event (below)...

Awesome skull attire!!!
"Come closer, I just want to give you a hug!" >:-)
Bloody Casket: Greatest photo-op idea ever!!!

"I'm-a Mario! I'm-a gonna eat 'cha!!!"

Resident Evil Umbrella Corporation Employee

Looks like the mascot got picked clean!!! :-O
Take-Out Brains for All

Epic Zombie Jewelry - artist name coming soon!!!

Well aren't you precious?
Toronto Zombie Walk Grand Marshals:
 John Russo & 
Russ Streiner (Writer & Producer: Night of the Living Dead)!!!
The Main Stage

"Look 'Ma! No Legs!!!" - Winner of Toronto Zombie Walk (2012) Costume Competition
More fabulous costume entries! Little Red Zombie Hood and Frida Zombie looking hot! :-)

Franken-dog!!! :-D

Just going for a stroll...

"Bella, you are more beautiful now than the day we met!!!"

Celebrating Our Fans!!!

Wow... What a crazy month!!! Thanks to all our blog fans and readers from around the globe for making October 2012 SSWC's most epic, record-breaking month yet.... The stats are in, and we've amassed 5,005 page views for October alone!!! :-D

Let's hear it for the Top 10 countries who brought the highest volume of traffic to our site... Without you, we wouldn't have been able to set this new record!!!
    1. United States
    2. United Kingdom
    3. Canada
    4. Germany
    5. Italy
    6. Russia
    7. Netherlands
    8. Spain
    9. Greece
    10. Belgium
The British Invasion is here!!! The U.K. has overtaken Canada, bumping us into 3rd place... Jolly good!!! Looks like we've got our work cut out over here across the pond in order to reclaim our previously held position in the rankings. ;-)

A warm welcome to newcomers Russia, Greece, and Belgium... We're happy you're now part of the Planet Obscura and SSWC family!!! :-)
510 million square kilometres. One global community.
There's a little deviant in all of us.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Josh Ramsay Pumpkin Carving - "Josh-o'-Lantern"

Josh Ramsay - a work in progress
The finished "Josh-o'-Lantern"
Josh-o'-Lantern, brighter, showcasing blue hair
For my pumpkin carving design this year, I chose Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench.  It wasn't easy, but it was *SO* worth it!!  Special thanks to Josh for the perfect model-looking head-shot, to misspulga for providing the carving environment and supporting me during the carving process, and to Gwartzmans Art Supplies for the blue acetate!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Carved Tibetan Skulls

Check out this amazing carved Tibetan skull, found on my new favourite website: Skull Appreciation Society

Does anyone out there know the history behind Tibetan skull carving? If so, please leave a comment on this post, or drop us a line at

Friday, October 19, 2012

misspulga's Reina de los Muertos Hallowe'en Makeup

Last Hallowe'en, misspulga was inspired by sugar skulls to create this one-of-a-kind "Reina de los Muertos" costume. All makeup was original, and hand-painted by misspulga herself. She submitted her photo to the epic Skull-A-Day blog, and had the privilege of being featured on their site [link to blog post].

After a ghoulishly festive All Hallow's Eve with the Vampire and the Werewolf at the Vampire's lair, misspulga returned home and started morphing back into her daytime persona (as can be seen in the photograph below). ;-)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Most Ridiculous Shoes Ever Made? - MSN Lifestyle Video

These shoes definitely fit the "weird" criteria of SSWC.  I think the artist's commentary on fashion/beauty is successful, because it showcases the crazy lengths people go to so that they may be viewed as popular or beautiful in today's society.  Watch the video (originally posted on's Lifestyle page) below and leave a comment - let us know what you think!

Flying Spaghetti Monster Guerrilla Art at Glendon College, Toronto

This guerrilla art was created for SSWC by misspulga after a particularly difficult exam in Advanced Statistics at Glendon College, York University in 2011. In this moment of clarity and enlightenment, she was most definitely touched by His noodly appendage. 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Trip to the Junction Fall Flea

Poster for the Junction Fall Flea
This past weekend, my friend The Collector and I went to the Junction Fall Flea... a hip, "curated" outdoor market near Dundas & Keele in Toronto, presented by Smash and Russet & Empire Interiors. This is the first time we've attended the Flea, but it usually runs the second Sunday of every month - all summer long. 

The atmosphere was fantastic: Hustling and bustling just like a good flea market ought to be. There was delicious food being served from vintage trailers... Manual Labour Coffee, pulled pork sandwiches, seafood noodles, dumplings, and mini-doughnuts fried in coconut oil. 

The vendors were amazing... You can find anything there, from vinyl records and vintage clothing to retro housewares... And everything in between. I scored a very neat looking lock for $3 that I'm planning to turn into a pendant, and an original Game Boy Tetris cartridge for $4. 

The thing I liked most about the Flea was the people... Genuine, down-to-earth folks who truly enjoyed being there as much as the patrons, and were happy to strike up a conversation with you. This event has been such a success that the organizers are looking into holding it indoors throughout the winter. I really hope they do!!! 

Please enjoy the photos I took during our trip including some pics of the *delicious* lunch and beer we had at the Indie Ale House Brewing Co., which is just down the street from the Flea. Also check out the list of vendor links I've provided at the bottom of this post. :-)  

Vintage anatomical heart model!
Vintage John Fluevog boots at Scandimania booth
Fantastic retro telephone seat!
Spoon & Fork Rings!
Well hello there!
Eat Your Heart Out plates!
Communist (?) banner!
Vintage spheres à la Marianas Trench!
Random items for sale!
Vintage Toronto "fine hard candy" tin!
Tattered & Torn - Good Junque display
Emily the Strange candle displayed in Rue Morgue window
Delicious meal at Indie Ale House Brewing Co., including 
Instigator Pale Ale (left) and Broken Hipster (right)
Indie Ale House Brewing Co. logo

[Old Weston on Etsy]
[Ghostface Knitta website]
[The Vintage Cabin website]
[Fair Judy's Facebook page]
[Rebel & Fuss - Pretty Badass Jewelry website]
[Food Sluts website]
[Scandimania on Etsy]
[Tattered & Torn - Good Junque website]
[Covet Garden website]

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mack Brewery in Tromso, Norway

Svalbard, Norway - [Link to image source]
SSWC reader and contributor Chris Parkinson from Hollywood, California writes to us about Mack Brewery in Tromso, Norway. He recently had the pleasure of visiting the brewery and experiencing their beer during a scientific research trip to Svalbard - the northernmost part of Norway. 

To begin with, Chris wanted to share this review of Mack Brewery found on Lonely Planet since it was so eloquently written:

"OK, this brewery isn’t really the world’s northernmost – a microbrewery in Honningsvåg takes that title – but it’s still a venerable institution that merits a pilgrimage. Established in 1877, it nowadays produces 18 kinds of beer, including the very quaffable Mack's Pilsner, Isbjørn, Haakon and several dark beers. At 1pm year-round – plus 3pm, June to August – tours (Nkr130, including a beer mug, pin and pint) leave from the brewery’s own Ølhallen Pub, Monday to Thursday."

Chris writes: So, we could call it the world's northernmost non-microbrewery!!! LOL

Photos courtesy of Chris Parkinson.
The Bottom Line: This is quite a hoppy beer, which may be a turn off to some. However, the interesting mix of sweet, caramel, fruit, 
and bitterness makes it a taste experience.

"It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth". That statement is one of many arrogant statements on the label on the bottle. This is another quote from the label: "We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory - maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it's made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beverage will give you more sex appeal."

The reason I am repeating words from the label is not because beer labels are all I read (I do read books also). It's because there is some truth in it. Bland pale lagers brewed by corporate giants have been a staple of American beer culture. However, Budweiser is now Belgian and there are many smaller American breweries (thousands) that offer interesting and tasty high-quality beers. Stone Brewing Company is one of them... and they are also trying to have some comedic fun with the situation.        

Thank you, Chris, for your submission! :-)

We here at Planet Obscura and SSWC *love* craft beer... If you have any recommendations or reviews you'd like to share, please e-mail them to us and we will post them on the blog!