Them Apples: the E! True Hollywood Story


The Apples in Stereo!

In a modest Indiana town called Danville, there’s a place called Beasley’s Orchard where parents can bring their children to let them experience the natural resource of fresh air, and older couples can wander around as a birthday date and/or happy excuse for light exercise. During certain times of the year, visitors to Beasley’s can peruse a farmer-food shop, walk quickly through a small-business sales-tent, get lost for years in a corn maze, or lay traps for the Great Pumpkin in their rather sincere pumpkin patch.

You’re surely familiar with one of the orchard’s biggest superstars: Them Apples.

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Our Jack Skellington Team-Building Pumpkin Showpiece

Sometimes team-building exercises can take you to the most unexpected places.

During our Customer Service Appreciation Week, our department and several others were challenged to a pumpkin-decorating contest. Each area received one (1) pumpkin, some bottles of paint, three paintbrushes in different sizes, a sheet or two of random Halloween stickers, probably some other art stuff I never even glanced at, and a few days’ advance notice in case we wanted time to formulate a strategy and bring our own art supplies and accessories. Once our allotted time began, we had ninety minutes to go from plain pumpkin to polished pièce de résistance, and with only one rule: no carving. Presumably the company has plans for all the pumpkin guts after the festivities end.

My team landed on the idea of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Pumpkin Skellington!

Right this way for more details and a look at Spiral Hill!

“Sleepy Hollow” 10/20/2014 (spoilers): The Daughter in the Water is the Plotter of Slaughter

Bram and Katrina!

A not-quite-tender moment between Abraham van Brunt (Neil Jackson), a.k.a. the Headless Horseman, a.k.a. Death, and Katrina Crane, Spy Witch (Katia Winter).

(…because it would’ve been too easy to run with “The Rain of Pain Falls Mainly on Crane”.)

Anyway. Previously on Sleepy Hollow: Our Heroes killed a Pied Piper, our man Crane (Tom Mison) became an unlicensed stunt driver, Nick Hawley (Matt Barr) got paid for broken merchandise, Henry Parish (John Noble) added some crushed bone flute to his pantry, and the Sleepy Hollow Word of the Day was “gillygaupus”, which means “a stupid, awkward person”. Did you use it in a sentence this week? Good job! Was it directed at someone else online? If so, why am I not surprised?

In tonight’s new episode, “The Weeping Lady”, mean Captain Reyes and the entire Irving family remain offstage as Our Heroes must face the undead threat of…Ichabod Crane’s evil ex-girlfriend!

For those who missed out, my attempt to streamline the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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MCC 2014 Pilot Binge #19: “Star Wars Rebels”

Star Wars Rebels!

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…the Keystone Kops were alive and well and still wearing useless helmets.

Star Wars Rebels is the first of two animated pilots on the project list, and one of the very few that my wife and I had planned to try anyway. She’s a longtime dedicated Star Wars fan with an Expanded Universe emphasis, as are some of my oldest internet cohorts. Together we watched nearly every episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars until its abrupt cancellation. We number among the many thousands of fans waiting impatiently and vainly for closure on the life of former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano. Regardless, we’d look and feel weirder if we didn’t give the new show a try.

Far as I can tell, nearly everyone who’ll love any media product with the words “Star Wars” on it has given the show an A for existing. So far to me, it’s Firefly for kids. There’s some good and some less-good in that.

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Pumpkin-Flavored MCC! Limited Time Only!


My wife and I are largely immune to the siren call of the fall pumpkin stampede. We don’t hate them, but we don’t wake up on October 1st and draw up a meal schedule of pumpkin omelets, thin-sliced pumpkin sandwiches, and pan-seared pumpkin steak with a pumpkin reduction served over a pumpkin salad tossed with pumpkin vinaigrette. Pumpkins are acceptable, but they don’t wow us.

Maybe it was odd, then, that we spent part of her birthday celebration last weekend traipsing through a pumpkin patch, surrounded by the very source of so much autumn shrugging. We couldn’t deny their iconic appearance, though.

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Before You Throw Away Those Cappuccino Potato Chips…

Lay's Cappuccino Potato Chips!

The mandatory “sinister side” pic from their upcoming episode of the Oxygen true-food-crime series Snacked.

A few weeks ago we culinary daredevils here at Midlife Crisis Crossover ignored societal customs and tried two of the new flavors of Lay’s Potato Chips that they designed at the suggestion of folks outside the food industry who may have come up with their ideas by pointing to random words in a cookbook.

One contender in particular, their Cappuccino Potato Chips, seems to be the most taboo-breaking of these next-wave snacks. In a recent Yahoo! article, New York Times coffee authority Oliver Strand was called in from whatever he was doing at the time that had to be more important than this, and was asked to test these chips for coffee authenticity. His conclusion is unsurprising yet apt (“The chips smell like the coffee candy your grandmother kept in a glass bowl in the living room”), but he also delves into the background of the company that provided Frito-Lay with the food-science technology necessary to pull off this modern anomaly. It’s a short, recommended reading that foreshadows other unprecedented, amalgamated endeavors in the future, except maybe those will be popular and people won’t scrunch up their noses at them.

I get the impression the Cappuccino Chips may not be flying off store shelves and will soon be relegated to Dollar General clearance bins within the next six to twelve months. My wife and I have been slowly working our way through the bag we bought, a chore prolonged by my reading comprehension failure that caused me to buy a party-sized bag. Why that size exists, I’ve no idea. Maybe they satisfy a fine-print contractual obligation. Good luck finding a crowd of twenty to one hundred friends and relatives who’d love you enough to unite and eat the entire bag for you in a single month, let alone in one party.

I don’t loathe them, but as Strand points out, they lack the enchanting loyalty that a classic potato chip commands. Anyone who’s ever tried to eat a single Pringle knows those sensations — the surprise hunger pang that wasn’t there a few minutes ago, and the sudden, insatiable craving that demands you eat at least another pound of them before you reseal the container. Unlike Pringles or actual caffeinated products, the cappuccino chips have an addiction factor near zero. They’re okay, but they’re becoming a chore for us to finish.

After a few other food-synthesis experiments that proved unappealing, this past Tuesday night I stumbled across one use for them that truly, sincerely clicked. I like to think every foodstuff exists for a reason, and I believe I’ve discovered the Cappuccino Chip’s true calling. And hopefully this doesn’t lead us into a darker future fraught with French-fry lattes or hazelnut casserole or mocha tots.

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