We're a geek couple living in PA with our two boys -- Milo and Otis -- who are short, orange, and furry. Oh, and they're the cats we're bookended by! We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for August 10, 2018

[Goodbye Mom redux] -- I'm kind of dreading tomorrow, August 11. It will be the first time in my life that I'll observe my mother's birthday ... without her being physically present in this world. If you don't recall, or if you're new to this blog, my mother passed unexpectedly last October. As far as we can tell, she passed peacefully, and without pain, overnight. It was a little more than six months away from the fifth anniversary of my father's passing.

So, my one and only flashback song for this weekend is the one I posted the weekend she passed, nad it is for her memory. I'm cribbing both the tune and the write-up from a previous Flashback post, but so be it. It is probably no surprise that I could reliably turn to Disney for a song that honors the very heart of motherhood. Well, I sort of turned to Disney. I turned to Hal Willner, an American music producer with several tribute albums and live events listed among his many credits. In 1988, Willner released his fourth tribute album, Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney FilmsStay Awake featured new recordings of Disney tunes by a whole range of performing artists, from Sun Ra to Michael Stipe, and from Buster Poindexter to Ringo Starr. This is still one of my favorite CDs from the 80s. At the time, I loved it because it made a somewhat adult soundtrack out of songs originally created for kids. Almost 30 years later, I still love it for the milestone in my life that it represents. The second track on Stay Awake pairs Bonnie Raitt with Was (Not Was) on "Baby Mine" from the 1941 film Dumbo. And it never fails to make me think of my own mother. In fact, I'm tearing up as I type these words. So, I'll wrap things up with a lyric and then the video.

"You're so precious to me | Cute as can be | Baby, you're mine."

That's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

And if you are on Twitter, and feel so inclined, please +K my influence in Music on @klout.

I'll see you in seven!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Ready Player One movie

Dangrdafne review

Please note I have not read the book, I have only seen the movie.

When having to choose the rating of 1 to 5 stars on Vudu, where we watched this movie, I was going to leave it up to Brainwise but he told me to pick. So I slowly clicked each star, waiting for his response. When I ended up at the fifth star, Brainwise exclaimed “I’m so happy you liked it.”

And like it I did. It was different, it was clever, it was interesting, it was fun and it was really well put together and done.

I liked the casting for each role and while I don’t play many video games it wasn’t beyond me and I did recognize a lot of the characters in the movie. The only part missing for me was they did explain the title, Ready Player One. Now I did know it before the movie but for people who watch that don’t know it is a shame they didn’t include it.

I loved that the movie was a love letter to video games and their creators.

I also loved that it was all about depending on each other, creating a team and a family in the process and finding your true selves. Stories we can all use right now.

Since I didn’t read the book I can not comment on the complaints people had about this movie. I don’t have any overall. I recommend this movie. Since I only have 4 paws as the max on this blog, I give it 4 paws and a tail.

Ready Player One

Friday, August 3, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for August 3, 2018

[Lawyers Need Love Too] -- 35 years ago this week, Jackson Browne released his seventh studio album, the humorously titled Lawyers In Love (1983). Despite its trio of successful singles, Lawyers In Love did not fare all that well with critics, although the Rolling Stone review was a notable, positive exception. Looking back, I would have thought that Browne's non-album single, "Somebody's Baby," released one year prior, might have helped pave the way for this 1983 album. But, maybe I'm trying to impose my own misconceptions about the music industry. Anyway,  the first single off this album was the title track, and when I first heard it cut across the airwaves I could not believe it. Up to this point in his career, Browne wasn't necessarily known for humor in his songwriting. But his lyrical jabs here mark a subtle shift from the personal to more political context.

Lawyers in Love, the album, spawned four hit singles from its eight tracks. It was a short album, even by 1980s standards. So, which three tracks have I selected to share with you this weekend? If you'd like to know, then I invite you to read and hear more after the break.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Celebrating Cartoonist Jackie Ormes (8/1/1911 – 12/26/1985)

Jackie Ormes (8/1/1911 – 12/26/1985)
Today would have been Jackie Ormes' 107th birthday.

She was the first African-American woman cartoonist. She created the Torchy Brown comic strip and the Patty-Jo 'n' Ginger panel. She was posthumously inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame in 2014. And earlier this year she was inducted into the Eisner Award Hall of Fame as a Judges' Choice.

Image Source: Comic Riffs on Instagram

Torchy Brown -- an independent Black woman in a nationally syndicated comic strip!

Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger

Friday, July 27, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for July 27, 2018

[Post Comic-Con Blues] -- I have them. My wife has them. And over 150,000 other people probably have them, too. I'm talking about those blues that settle in after attending an epic event like the San Diego International Comic-Con (SDCC). Comic-Con ended this past Sunday, but it's hard to return to the mundane world after being embedded with so many fanpeeps at quite possibly the largest celebration of comic books and pop culture. (By the by, there was a specially curated Flashback post for Comic-Con last week).

My initial plan for today was to create a playlist of sad goodbye songs. But we don't need sad songs. We need to get pumped up! So, I chose more upbeat songs to help us chase those blues away. Now, each of the three songs this week has a fairly obvious connection to this week's theme, but there is a more subtle connection for one of them. Can you find it? I'll take the names of all the folks who provide a correct answer, and I'll select a random winner to receive a geeky prize. I hope that motivates you to post a comment ... when you read and hear more after the jump. 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for July 20, 2018

[SDCC 2018 Playlist] -- I can in no way offer a definitive 80s playlist for the Valhalla of geekdom that is the San Diego Comic-Con International. Well, I could try, but I'm just one person. So I turned to the power of Twitter to ask my fellow comic con attendees (and folks who wish they could be attending this week) to help me curate a special playlist. I asked, "What is your favorite 80s song?" And my fellow nerds responded. So, this post is going to go beyond my standard three selections. And it's going to run the gamut of styles. But in the end, I think we end up with a nice 13-track set to kick off the weekend. If you'd like to know what tracks were selected, and who suggested them, you can read and hear more after the jump. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Game of Bloggers 2018

Last night we attended one of the highlights of SDCC in recent years: Game of Bloggers!

This shindig is thrown by Tony Kim (@crazy4comiccon), who is also celebrating the second year of his geek clothing business, Hero Within. Yeah, it's a party, but it is also an opportunity for geeky bloggers of all stripes to interact. Plus, like last year, there are wares from other geeky brands to check out.

Here are a few pics. For more, check out Traveling Mocha's Instagram.

Tony, CEO of Hero Within, bookended by the Bookended by Cats crew
@dangrdafne with @misstejota (of @wesonerdy)
@brainwise with Hot Nerd Girl (Twitter/Instagram) and Nerd Mom!
@brainwise with @amlehr