The CandiedSkull Legacy and its total weirdness


I made yet another friend on Twitter today, and ordinarily I’d wait to do another “blogger love” post to give props to her but our conversation there was relevant to today’s post, so I’ll go ahead and introduce @qwertygirl now.  She has a great blog called Orange and Silver.  I saw the word “Orange” and didn’t get any farther and immediately assumed it was a blog about “Orange is the New Black” and that I was going to be inundated with pics of naked lesbian love scenes so I got all excited.  I was wrong and disappointed about that but as it turned out she’s funny and insightful and (and this is where our blogger platonic love story began) not at a loss for words.  Much like myself, she seems to believe that if your post is less than 2000 words, well then it’s just not finished.

//, fuck you for making me look up “loquacious”

. . . . and on being limited to 140 characters on Twitter:


So pretty much instant love there.

But on to the point of the story, which I’m sorry but it requires a little bit of a back-story to begin, so I’ll start with that.

Because I’m loquacious like that.

You see I am the original “CandiedSkull”.  I was known by that name long before Opticynicism came around.  The name is actually the result of a drunken barbecue conversation back in the day when I was still married and we had neighbors and shit that actually liked us and we would regularly burn stuff on the grill and drink many beers.  The conversation came up that I was looking for a name for my company that I was half assedly starting because I was actually getting paid to write on a semi-regular basis.  Nothing earth shattering, of course.  I was writing for gaming magazines and websites.  Game walkthroughs, reviews, “Top 20 lists” and bullshit like that.  Basically, I got paid to sit at home and play games all day.  Sometimes I got paid in games, one time even a brand new console on its release date and occasionally they would send me actual money.  Needless to say, this didn’t exactly keep food on a table especially for the family of 5 that we had at the time, but it was growing a little bit so I decided to make myself an actual LLC which would help me become a bit more marketable.  People (read:  teenagers that followed my gaming work) were drawn to me because I kept them thinking while at the same time, kept them laughing.  One such reader sent me an email at one point and complimented me with the statement “the stuff that comes out of your head is SWEET!”.

So my drunken friends and I tossed that around for a while and a lot of really shitty ideas were had.  Finally, one of my friends said, “What about CandiedSkull!  The stuff that comes out of your head is sweet, your head is your skull and teenagers dig shit with skulls on it so the logo would be badass”!

So over burnt chicken thighs and cheap, shitty beer, CandiedSkull Publication, LLC was born and I was to be forever known as CandiedSkull throughout the gaming community by that name.  My articles were getting published under that name.  It became my Xbox name, my PS3 name and eventually became the name of my website.  Another site I have that is seeing very little activity as of late.  (Don’t click that link unless you are a gamer interested in joining a forum with a whopping membership of 16 people with a really fucked up sense of humor.)

. . . and from that point on, everything I owned ended up with skulls on it.  My computer.  My car.  My clothes. (You now know the back-story on why I have a skull on my T-shirt up in the logo.)  I have the inevitable “skull plate” on the front of my car, which I even went the extra mile and modified it so that the eyes light up when the lights are on.

Pardon the bug splatter. I still have signs of Texsucks all over the front of the car. One of the splatters is quite large and may have been a pedestrian. Given the laws in Florida, I’m sure the glowing skull eyes will gain me the attention of a police officer for no good fucking reason at all.

I had the skull air valve caps for each of the tires (that turned into a disaster that we will never speak of again) and I still have the skull seat covers which I am too embarrassed to show you because they are sun-bleached, torn and disgusting and need to be changed.

I had the skull thing going on and things were going successfully for a while.  The original website had all of my work and game guides on it; it had the original forum and it had a lot of traffic.  Unfortunately, as things in the gaming industry tend to do, it eventually died.  Of course, in the midst of that, I was going through a divorce, moving back to North Carolina and life generally went sideways, so there was my own lack of interest in maintaining it.  So after 5 years (and I was lucky for it to have lasted that long), 30,000,000 page hits and a crap-ton of fans, it all kind of went out  the window.

But CandiedSkull lived on as the name I was to be found on the various game consoles, and as a result of that, back when things were going well and my son, Anthony, was about 10 we created him a “gamertag” for the Xbox as well and he was to become known as LittleSkull.  Anthony is now 19, a high school graduate as of this past July and taller than me.  A couple (few) years ago, he started taking some offense to the “Little” part of that name and he changed it to “Tony2Skullz”.  Pretty cool since he added the “2” so he could be a part of “Dad’s team” but also odd because he goes by “Anthony” and has NO desire whatsoever to be referred to as “Tony”.

Anthony and I at his graduation a couple months ago.  I am not in shorts and a T-shirt.  Enjoy it, as it rarely happens.
Anthony and I at his graduation a couple months ago. I am not in shorts and a T-shirt. Enjoy it, as it rarely happens.

Now we get to where Anthony decided to show some love for the CandiedSkull/Tony2Skullz team.

A while back, he got his first car, or in this case, truck.  An older Chevy pickup (The first in the Lightening series before they actually started calling it the Lightening series.)  My dad, of course, helped him get it.  Just like he co-signed my loan for my car and the ensuing nightmare of having him have to sign shit just to get my Florida tags.   In the way that my dad does, anything that anyone owns that has his name on it or is otherwise connected to him, he has to mark his territory.  We refer to this as “where did dad/grandpa pee on it”.  So when my dad drove the truck up from Raleigh, NC to the mountains where Anthony lives, it arrived with a US Navy license plate on the truck.  (Seems like I remember something about an NRA sticker on the back window too, but I don’t think that lasted longer than a day.)

If you’ve read ANY of the posts I wrote about my father (I’ll leave a few links at the bottom in case you haven’t), you’ll totally get his line of thinking here.

When I first saw it and asked him about it, the conversation went like this:

Me:  “It’s Anthony’s truck, why in the hell would you put a Navy tag on it”?

Dad:  “Well, I was in the Navy, soooooo . . . .”

Me:  “So it’s cool to advertise the Navy on his truck because his Grandfather was in the Navy”?

Dad:  “Of course.  Why not”?

Me:  “My Grandfather was a Wermacht soldier in WWII fighting for the Germans.  So it’d be cool if I put a swastika tag on the front of my car then”?

Dad:  *Shut the fuck up look* and walks away.

The Navy tag stayed there for quite a while until a few days ago and Anthony finally got fed up with it.  He finally took it off and made the rounds of all the auto parts stores (both of them) in his little town and went skull crazy.

I’d share the text message conversations I had with him but he is apparently loquacious by genetic inheritance and that would require a lot of editing.  So I’ll share the pics he sent instead.

There is the required skull tag on the front which has replaced the Navy tag and the skull and crossbones over the tailgate latch.
The skulls over the door handles and the flaming skulls on the fenders.
The skull rear view mirror frame complete with skull dog tags and skull air freshener and the black and blue steering wheel cover to go with the whole black/blue theme.
I nearly forgot the wicked pedal covers which I swear to God are going to get in his way.
I nearly forgot the wicked pedal covers which I swear to God are going to get in his way.

And last, but certainly not least (mostly because I had some Photoshop fun with it last night), the license plate frame!

Because I try not to post people's license tag numbers on here and that isn't how he would have personalized tag but he totally should and I'm the one that spent an hour looking for the right goddamn North Carolina license tag font, which still isn't the right one but it's close.
Because I try not to post people’s license tag numbers on here and that isn’t how he would have personalized the tag but he totally should and I’m the one that spent an hour looking for the right goddamn North Carolina license tag font, which still isn’t the right one but it’s close.

Since my car got long-ago known as the “Skullmobile”, he couldn’t take it because, you know, trademark and copyright laws and shit.  Not really, he just didn’t want to steal that glory from me, so he’s named it the “Skullloader”

“Because it has lots of “l’s” and shit.”  -Anthony

So the legacy has been passed down and I have updated you a bit on the life of Anthony and how he has still managed to survive living in the same house with my father.  Or how my father has managed to survive it.

One of those.

The proud owner of the Skullloader.  I can spit a rhyme like Eminem, Yo!
The proud owner of the Skullloader. I can spit a rhyme like Eminem, Yo!

So for those of you that want to follow the best of the best of the “Life with my father” saga (I still get requests to write more of those because they seemed to be a favorite.  I don’t live with him anymore, so that makes it a little bit more difficult.)  Here are a few of the best ones from the past:

Now I’ve got to go to Google and look some things up because @qwertygirl is still fucking with me on Twitter and I have to find out what “garrulous” and “voluble” means.

Also, I’ve been thinking about making a static “Home” page for Opticynicism but it isn’t working out too well for me.  It could be me.  It could be the theme.  Most likely it’s me.  You can see the current experiment going horribly wrong HERE if you would like.


Facebook Post of the Day goes to Denise once again, or rather, to her brother Reid who has shunned Facebook (lucky bastard):


2 thoughts on “The CandiedSkull Legacy and its total weirdness

  1. Thanks for the love, Eric! I added you to my blog roll too. Let the verbose coalesce!

    I must tell you, my oldest (11) would DIE to review video games. He wants to make fucking Minecraft videos and post them to YouTube. Since he’s 11, I’m not comfortable letting him expose himself to the Internet trolls just yet, but I know I can’t hold him off for long.

    And in other news, my own Daddy was a U.S. Marine (I read your “about”) from 1954-1957. He was at Camp Lejeune for boot camp and then posted all over the South. Thank you for your service, sir!

    1. You are more than welcome for the love!

      Tell your son there is NO money in it and he will live under a bridge and eat with his fingers from a can of store brand beans if that is what he chooses to do.

      Thank you for the Marine props!

      Obviously, my dad was in the Navy, but if you read any of the older stories that I listed, he’s a very special kind of fucked up.

      Great to have you around!!

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