Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Very Special Evening …with Heart!

I spent an amount of money too embarrassing to divulge for the VIP treatment at the recent Grand Victoria Casino Heart concert.
The Mrs. loves Heart, so I fall under the category of "Very Wonderful Husband."
First let me point out that everyone at the show was VERY nice, and I'm fully aware that I am the only one responsible for putting myself in the club of sad people who have to pay to have their picture taken with a celebrity.
For humor's sake, I would quote extensively from the small print of the release form I had to sign about the many things we were sternly warned not to do, but among those things I signed off on, was the threat of legal action if I repeated anything about the specifics of the waiver.
So forget I ever said anything about it.
As part of the VIP package we were first given the thrill of shopping at the Heart merchandise tent, them it was off to the Heart VIP party tent. I was happy with the provided 2 drink tickets each, and did enjoy the tasty snack selection. In case you wondered, hippie tapestry, LED candles, inspirational poetry by the honey mustard packets and the chance to write your innermost thoughts in the "Notes to Ann and Nancy" journal is what a Heart VIP Party Tent is.
Many there were genuinely thrilled by all this, and I was genuinely happy that they were happy.
Then it was time to get in line for our very own photo with Ann and Nancy. Even though I paid full price for two photo opps, we couldn't do one of just Alyson (since this was all for her) and then one together. We only had the option of one each, or one together, so I went for two.
As we all put out our arms to be sprayed down with disinfectant (really) it was explained that we would get our promised pre-signed posters right after the photo was snapped (no, you can't have them inscribed), then we were to exit the area immediately.
The quite lovely Wilson sisters left a space in-between their two chairs for the fans to squat down and say cheese as the one photo would be taken (don't blink!).
I'd write "Would it kill you to stick another chair at the table for the VIP's?" but nary a Heart Suggestion Box could be found.
No chance for eye contact or small talk (at least in my case) was part of the VIP experience. I did blurt out "Act excited!" to the ladies as I hunkered down, but that didn't get them to utter a word or turn even a quarter inch in my direction (which I can't fault them for).
When my 4 seconds of fame by association ended, I was quickly lead outside the fenced in area with only fond memories of my brief tenure being a VIP.
In summation, I'm sure they have many well thought out reasons for all these rules, and I'm also assuming that Ann and Nancy are wonderfully nice people. It's also just great that a VIP package is an option for their most ardent fans. It's also fine with me that Heart was able to clear an extra $10,000 before the show (just a wild guess).
I'm just passing along a slice-of-life experience!
Oh, and the payoff?
Alyson does a sizzlingly nasty bump-and-grind during Barracuda.
The best things in life are free!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Before there was Caitlin Jenner, you won't believe the Superstars that underwent a Sex Change!

Leave it to Larry Flynt to come up with
the most nostalgically tacky memorabilia of the 70s!
If you ever thought Charles Bronson as Charlene Bronson
would look good over the mantlepiece,
all you needed to do was clip out the form in Hustler or Chic,
write out a check, and then wait by your mailbox for 6-8 weeks.
Are these eerie predictions of changes to come?
Only time will tell!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Bigfoot and Son Father's Day Beer Stein!


Just click on the Kickstarter link above
for all the details on getting your very own Munktiki Bigfoot Stein,
plus MANY other collectible rewards!

To quote the official Munktiki press release:
"With much success on our first stein, the Krampus Stein,
we bring you our second endeavor. Number One Bigfoot Stein!
This stein has an extremely detailed relief rendition of
Mitch O'Connell's Awesome Father and Child Bigfoot print.
Like our Krampus stein the Bigfoot stein comes in 2 Styles,
Painted Style and Raw Style.
Bigfoot's Fathers Day Stein is 10 1/2 inches tall
and holds 1 liter of your favorite brew.
The fitted lid helps keep out unwanted squirrels and falling acorns,
a must have for any wilderness treking beer lover."

When Munktiki asked me to come up with a Bigfoot design,
I drew up Father and son walking in the woods,
but I didn't think it was enough.
So I called in a member of my staff, son Leo, to get his opinion.
He scratched his chin and told me,
"You need more father/son mythical creatures in the background."
"You're a genius!" I proclaimed.
So I added aliens, Jackalopes, Loch Ness,
Slender Man and Unicorns to liven it up.

I whipped out my Windsor Newton Series 7 #4 brush
and started inking away thinking how pleased Munktiki would be,
until they told me to stop with all the extras,
and just stick with the main characters.
My first inclination when told to do things over is to pout,
but I always do my best to resist that urge because I'm come to learn
that even when I think I'm right, chances are
I'll figure out later that the client is correct.
And once again, that theory proved right!

PS- I usually ink with rapidographs,
so using a brush made me feel like a '70s Marvel artist!
The new improved version!
The biggest difficultity was the boy.
He was just looking stiff,
so I did what I often do when searching for a solution,
look at other artists work.
And for  figure movement, what could be better than vintage Disney studio art?
So if you break open one of your Disney books,
search for a picture of a skipping Pinocchio.
It might look oddly familiar!

The Bigfoot bottle opener design!
The Bigfoot topper design!

Don't miss out on getting your Bigfoot stein!
If you didn't order the (now unavailable) Krampus stein,
you won't want the same mistake to happen twice!

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Year of Odd, Goofy and Unbelievably Strange Flea Market Finds!

I get up bleary eyed and groggy before sunrise on
Sundays to drag myself to the weekly outdoor flea market
to poke through piles of 1000's knickknacks,
what-nots and doodads, and I like it!
Also, since my personal home museum is overflowing
unless the find is extraordinary,
I have a catch and release program.
I capture the oddest ones with a photo, and share 'em
...with YOU!
This way you can relax in comfort and take your
virtual tour of a years worth of rummaging around
at a much more reasonable hour.
Now let's get moving!
We don't want anyone to get to the good stuff before us!
I've been dubbed, "The Heartthrob of the Flea Market!"
Well, I haven't actually heard that phrase myself,

but it would make complete sense,
so I'll assume someone has said it.
Now I'll never have to suffer through frostbitten balls again!

The rarely seen "Jaws" Quint action figure!
You go girl!

This used to be my online dating name.
I'm fairly sure this is Gale's record collection.

Judging by the audience reaction,
Marcy must have an amazing comedy routine opening!

Next time the kids complain that they're bored,
I'm going to slowly take out the Farmland Craft Kit from the closet.

I'm guessing they'll instantly think of else something to do.
I have to limit my shell figurine purchases to clowns and Jesus.
Why Mr. Matzah never caught on with the kids, I'll never know.
Repackaging for the acid generation-
Before Cheech and Chong there were...
Your one stop shop for decorating the backyard
(and the entire neighborhood)!

"Boobie Bookend" A piece of wood that resembled a breast.
Oddly, I passed on this purchase.
This is a TRUE FIND!
Very surprised to see a M.O'C candy dish for sale.
It's fuzzy.
Do I need another reason?
I went with "Dune Buggy" as my Avon aftershave selection.
My new assistant.
Clown string art. As an investment.
People give you the funniest looks when you
ask if they've seen the toilet paper.
A little help here!
I love bad crass commercial art
(only because it makes me feel better about myself).
Perspective and likenesses …who needs 'em!
I look 10 years younger!
I home the redness fades though.
If someone told me I'd run across a portrait of
the Wizard of Speed and Time this morning,
I would have told them they were crazy!

You kids are probably too young to remember the huge Big-Eyed Monk craze that was sweeping the nation in the 60s.
At only $1 each, I was very tempted.
I'm still looking for my "Deer Hunter" puffy notebook stickers.
3-D kittens, a basket of flowers and a clock.
Everyone can stop trying, because perfection
has just been attained!
Alyson- "Mitch! You are not putting that 5' long clock in our house!"
Mitch- "Oh, sorry I love Jesus, our Lord and Creator!

Do you know what time it is?
Time to get right with Jesus!!""
Practical AND good looking.
God Bless America!
…and I plan to make plenty of "Time to raise the flag" jokes.
You had me at "Rumpus Room," you lost me at "$25.
 My favorite find of the day, because it meets the "What the f**k?!" level of bewilderment.
"You know what's missing in the knickknack shopping world?" says the chief executive, "Shell boys fishing!!!"
Why is this album valuable?
Because it's a rare find from the estate of The Jeffersons!
Just how I found it at the vendors table. Where do I start?
From the company you can trust- "ManStaff."
I found this stuffed carnival prize for my son which reminded me of a story.

Some background information.
A dozen or so years ago, at the State Fair in Maine, Leo won a foot high Pikachu by picking the correctly numbe
red floating rubber ducky. That became his inseparable companion during our week long visit at Grandma's. That is, until our final day of vacation, when it vanished (we believe the annoying neighbor kid had something to do with it).
Now forget I told you that.

Flash forward two years.
Leo, Kieran and I were dropping their mother off at the airport. As we left O'Hare with the youngsters snug in their car seats, Kierans little bottom lip started quivering, then a flood of tears burst forth as she exclaimed, "I miss my mom!" Leo, seeing this, got caught up in the emotional moment, started crying and yelled, "I miss my Pikachu!"
If you know anything about me,
you know I'm a man of danger and action
who lives life in the fast lane, windows down,
music blaring, driving without brakes while doing jujitsu.

So this book was a must have!
At the police station…
Policeman, "Children, we need you to identify the bad man."
Megan and Mark, "He looked just like this officer!"
Oh Fred, you dawg you!
I've had the same expression waking up after

an adventurous Saturday night.
No thanks- I can pull it myself!
This, and many other, hilarious comments you missed by not walking with me.
I almost burst into flames trying to pick only one
"funny" caption to go with this book.

I still can't do it, there are too many!
A perfect mix of clowns, shells and fuzzy things!
If I have one regret in all my years,
it's not purchasing this 6' tall Billy Ray Cyrus wall clock.
My heart is still achy-breaky! 
By hour 4 of walking among 4000 fellow flea shoppers in the bright sunny heat I was feeling the same way- or maybe he was just lamenting that no one loved him enough to take 'em home- but my advice to anyone feeling down in the dumps-
Hang in there!
…umm, not literally of course.
This is the no judgement zone!
I was getting tired of Meth comedy anyway.

The rare Joker Eating Batman costume.
You're pretty much tripping over the life-size Golden Girl Estelle Getty dolls at any flea market, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for 'em. I think just about every young gal had this toy sensation in the 80s!
The Circle of Life.
I'm wistfully reminded of my single days.

When you've given up on your son ever making friends,
and you never want him, or any member of your household,
to be able to sleep again…
it's Corky!
I think Don and I could be great friends.
I also like to wear yellow plaid pants and drink!
I constantly have to explain to the kids that their new fangled ipad/ipod/xbox/imax/streaming/downloadable whatnots can't hold a candle to the exciting games we had when I was young!

Tributes to our proud American Indian friends.
I'd almost rather not know what these are used for, but two were available.
Each had a looped strap attached to the small of the back for grasping and both seemed made to be on their knees. 
If you see any merchandising of my likeness-
Please report the offender immediately to local authorities!

Finding that these didn't come in a 32 waist and 34 length was
probably one of the saddest days of my life.

I have a nagging feeling in the back of my head that there's
something inappropriately "wrong" with this knick-knack.
Nah! I'm sure it's just my imagination!
As soon as the Gorilla Glue dries under my new hood ornament,
I'll be driving around town with the windows down and 97.9 Classic Rock cranked up.
Because I'm cool.

Something seems to be missing from our traditional Thanksgiving table decorations.
If only I could put a finger on it… if only...
The greatest hats in the history of mankind!
I thought I just heard someone whispering "Help!"
Nah. It must have been my imagination!

This is "STD Barbie," the doll to help identify various venereal diseases.
I'm not sure what this one has, but it doesn't look good.

Kids- remember how you wanted a car for graduation?
Well I got you the next best thing!
They WERE James!

I had to explain to Earl that I was in charge of the comedy around here.
He took it down.
Puzzles that all the kids are into nowadays!
I think the point of this move is to miss.
Why this elderly gentleman is sawing off his left arm is still a mystery to me.

From the rarely seen series of figurines showing firemen stealing children's puppies.
I think having lawn ornaments of children with their pants down will guarantee multiple police visits and at least a 25% drop in house values.

After you find a signed Pia Zadora publicity photo, you might as well stop shopping. It will never get any better.
He's Happy, Soft and Cuddly!
If you see this lurking in your back yard, just call 911.
I picked up a few child care pamplets too.
It sems the cure is to glue their hands to the chair.
My newborn just got a circumcision too.
  Businessman pondering- 
"I have 10,000 little helicopters that the kids aren't buying!
I know, I repackage them as…"
 One of these things is not like the other.
Mitch, don't you already have 2 of these 45 record holders?
And what's your point?
I nearly fainted when I came across a plush childrens clown chair.
Now our young son has a proper throne!
Reading "Try Me!!" made me feel funny inside,
so I had to quickly leave the booth.
An actual purchase!
A vintage handmade/painted clown doll bed.
How could I go wrong?
If you add ice in your drink his clothes disappear.
Don't ask me how I know.
It was described as having "Some markings on the front."
I'm a little bit Flea, and I'm a little bit Market!

How embarrassing!
I arrived in the exact same outfit.
Maybe in 10 years I'll be able to look back

and laugh about it.
"I've got wood!"
You had me at "Decorative Throw Pillows,
 but when you add "Clowns"
and price them at $2.50ea…
"No more wire hangers EVER!"
My trick was to give my dates lots of beer.
This trophy was stolen from our house last year.
When I saw it for sale at Wolff's Flea Market,
I called the police, the vendor was arrested
and my award was returned!
I saw the XXX movie in the 70s.
I've been ringing this damned bell for THREE hours now! 

This vibrating basketball player has a secret identity.
Once you take off his removable arms,

he takes on a whole different use.
Think about it.

Signed on the back "Floyd Young."
I'm sure when I Google his name I'll find it's worth a million dollars!
Daughter Kiearn wanted to be a tollbooth operator when she was young.
I realized later that she just assumed they set up their own booths
wherever they wanted and just collected money all day.

For some reason, this really spoke to me.
Grandma was found dead at Christmas after the children opened their gifts.
Little Billy, Bobbie and Kathy are being held by the police.
I was short on funds by the time I came across these.http://mitchoconnell.blogspot.com/2012/05/jarts-terror-on-lawn.html
One day I shall own ALL the "I Love You This Much" merchandise!
This I Vow!
I've got a monkey on my back!
A "Low Expectations" school lunch box.

There was a wonderful era where baby toys could be a bald,
bearded, pipe wearing, woman shoe wearing sailor!

If there were a "$2.00 Cash" one
I would have purchased it for driving the kids around.
I don't think it ended up well for Kurt and Megan.
I've been inspired!
From now on, please address me as "D.J. Mitch."
Everything AND the kitchen sink!
Let's all laugh together!

I'm preparing for my spare retirement time.
From a 1979 Mardi Gras photo album.
I'm inspired to get a medical degree too!

I can't get enough of this guy!
He'll be #3 in the collection.
This is the reason the phrase
"Must See TV" was invented.
Wolff's Flea Market welcomes people of all lifestyles!
After the kids are sent to bed the homemade vhs tapes start.
Not creepy at all!
You'll grow up to be big and tall,
as these "Before and After" photos will attest.

You can bind me up as much as you want,
but the second you fall asleep...
For all your blowfish shopping needs!
Titled "Donald in the Watermelon Patch."
I consider myself a lover of breasts …I mean, "Fine Art"!
I was going to buy it but I couldn't find the answer to,
"Why are there other artists more popular than me?!"
I could have the most awesomely decorated bedroom
if the wife didn't have to ruin everything!
Sadly, there is NOT ONE shower scene to color in!
The first time I've EVER seen sheet music I wanted to purchase ($1).
The amazing Lon Chaney in an equally amazing fim.
I'm sure I'll be humming the tunes all day long!
I've had to wait to the end of April to be able to schedule anything,
but it was worth waiting for!
Just preparing Aiden to take over the family business.
If you're among my 12 closest friends, I've just finished my Christmas shopping.
"Mitch, have you lost weight?" you'll be asking. 
You seem much more attractive!"
It'll be my little secret!
My new TV remote, for watching PBS.
I'll need about 50 more moods for this household.
If it's "Happening," count me in!
If anyone makes a
"Who wants a little beaver" joke, I will have to chastise you,
because that would be disrespectful to women!
There must be 57 tits there!
- Steve Martin

A 1979 dream show!
Tom Jones! Don Rickles! Sammy Davis Jr.! Kenny Rogers
 Suzanne Summers! Rich Little! Mitzi Gaynor! 
Well, 7 out of 8 ain't bad!

This photographer needs to work on his timing.
More from a 1979 Mardi Gras.
The End!