Bookended by Cats was named after Milo and Otis. They are the short, orange, and furry brothers who, upon entering our lives in 2003, often bookended us on our couch. And who are we? We're a geek couple living in PA. We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Summer Island - Kristin Hannah

Dangrdafne book review: 

The perfect end of summer read. 

The book's location is set in the Pacific Northwest, one of my favorite areas in the world. I could see the places that were described in the book and it is a character unto itself.

A story of a family specifically a mother and daughter plus a second daughter and lesser so the father and how they are dealing with turmoil and unresolved feelings and a definite lack of communication. This is a female centric story and it is glorious. I definitely see my mother, myself and my sister in this book - thankfully not as separated as these three are but we are definitely the characters in many ways. It was nice to have my Mom and Sister near me as I read this book.

The ups and downs, the laughter, the tears, it is all worth every second of it. The writing is superb and I could see, hear, smell and feel everything. I truly want to go to Summer Island and see these places and feel it all for myself.

If you have ever had issues with your mother, this is a wonderful book to use to work through them. I do not have any issues with my mother but I could understand and empathize with what was happening. You always need to hear the other side and the other side has to be willing to tell. Keeping quiet, keeping secrets, keeping up appearances will get you nowhere. If people would just be honest and talk, the amount of trouble in the world would reduce so much. And the mother/daughter bond is an incredible power, one that should never be taken for granted.

There is even a love story hidden amongst all the turmoil and it is deep and lovely. A long unrequited love that needs nurturing and release. To find out if there is happy ending you will have to read Summer Island by Kristin Hannah.

4 paws

Friday, September 18, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for September 18, 2020


[Into the Fall  - Redux] -- With the latest autumnal equinox rapidly coming upon us, and while we're still in the midst of a pandemic, I looked to my previous Flashback posts. I wanted to remember what other falls -- the season, not the collapse of our civilization -- looked like. And I found one in my 9/20/2013 Flashback which originally appeared over at Prophet or Madman. I'll share the whole thing here, and it looks like I need to make only one edit to account for the passage of the last seven years. See if you notice the change (hint -- it's not the remarks about football and baseball, which seem remarkably quaint today). 

~~~~~

I don't know about you, but I find September to me a month of contradictions. Football has started, but baseball has yet to yield the spotlight. The days are warm, but the nights become cool. Speaking of days, as summer vacations give way to what students perceive as long, tedious school days, the days are actually becoming shorter in length. I have a nostalgic hankering for pumpkin spice (lattes), but that particular treat hasn't even been around for 20 years. And, finally, I have this strange urge to hurry and complete even while the world around me is getting ready to slow down and sleep (Autumn Equinox this weekend).

Seems like a good time to do a Flashback featuring The Outfield.

The Outfield is a power-pop band that was founded in the early 80s, and they, too, are somewhat contradictory: They are from the UK, yet they took their name from part of the playing field for America's pastime (note: they started out as The Baseball Boys). They had huge hits in the US, but they couldn't quite win commercial success in their homeland. Two band members had the look of new romance while the other two looked a bit more glam. And, finally, they continue to perform and record (their last album was released in 2011), but they have not charted since 1990. What Outfield tunes got off the bench and onto the playlist this week? Well, read and hear more after the break.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for September 11, 2020


This is a reworking of a 9/11/2015 post that itself was a reworking of the original post that appeared on 9/9/2011 (and both of those prior posts were on Prophet or Madman).


[I Love NY, on September 11 and Always -- Redux 2] -- On September 11, 1981, the top song in the U.S. was "Endless Love" by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie (#1 on the Billboard Hot 100 from August 9 to October 10). In baseball, the Detroit Tigers defeated the Cleveland Indians at Tiger Stadium. Movie goers were about to lift Arthur to the role of top-grossing movie for that weekend. Confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Sandra Day O'Connor ended. On the world stage, the U.S. accused the USSR of using poison gas in Laos, Cambodia, and Afghanistan. The Soviets began amphibious landing exercises on the Polish coast as part of naval training in Baltic Sea even while pressure for democracy was mounting within Poland. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat claimed Referendum results supported his crackdown efforts against opposition forces, and the Ayatollah Khomeini's personal representative was assassinated in Tabriz, Iran. And a private plane crashed into the Swing Auditorium, a legendary concert venue in San Bernardino, California, damaging it beyond repair.

Just shy of 40 years later, we are once again remembering the aftermath of a trio of plane crashes that occurred on the East Coast, destroying an architectural icon in downtown New York and devastating our national psyche. I have previously written about 9-11 (The Real "Never Forget," They Crashed the Planes and Changed the Rules, and Visit to United Flight 93 Memorial for example). But I have yet to do so from the lens of 80s music. So, this week, the Friday 80s Flashback celebrates New York City. Wondering what songs we have for the Big Apple? Read and hear more after the break.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for September 4, 2020

File:Lewis Hine Power house mechanic working on steam pump.jpg
Power house mechanic working on steam pump 
by Lewis Hine, 1920. (Wikipedia)

[Music for Labor Day Weekend 2020] -- I haven't had a full time job since I was laid off in February 2019. And, thanks to a global pandemic, I know many others are likewise unemployed, at least for the foreseeable future. Still, many others are in the difficult position of having work but not necessarily a safe working environment. And we should be mindful of the issues that were already impacting Working America prior to the pandemic. So, as we enter our latest Labor Day holiday weekend, how about a few songs from our 1980s catalog that highlight work, labor, and unions? Read and hear more after the break!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for August 21, 2020 (on a Saturday)


[Last Exit] -- I previously shared one track from today's Flashback artist, Last Exit. This weekend, however, I'm sharing over 30 minutes of material from them. Someone was kind enough to upload their appearance at the 1986 Deutsches Jazzfestival in Frankfurt. So, Last Exit was a ferocious and uncompromising free-jazz band formed in 1986. They remained active to about the mid-90s, disbanding after their guitarist's death. Upon joining forces, they were considered something of a supergroup due to the pedigree of the musicians involved: Bassist Bill Laswell (also known for his work with Material and as a producer), drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson (who didn't know the meaning of "false modesty"), guitarist Sonny Sharrock (no stranger to precise distortion), and saxophonist Peter Brötzmann (giving aggressive breath to reed instruments since the 1960s). These guys were chaotic and loud, louder than many rock bands at the time. They released several live records, but only one studio album, Iron Path (1988). Iron Path found the foursome displaying more restraint than on their live efforts, and it seemed to focus more on textures and experimentation. Still, even on Iron Path, Last Exit could improvise with a tension matched only by two large ships passing in complete darkness, far from the shore. What does that even mean? I'm not sure; I just remember the line from a review I read for the record back in '88. And I bought the CD because of that review (I think it was in Musician magazine, but I cannot find it online). The reviewer referred to their playing as being akin to the tension of a boat bracing an incoming storm. My late father, as I recall, could only comment that Brötzmann sounded like he was playing with a split reed. Anyway, read the liner notes for Iron Path and that might give you some idea of what to expect from this performance. I'm not saying it will prepare you, but at least you'll be informed.

FlashbackLive and loud experimental jazz




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.

I'll see you in seven!

Friday, August 7, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for August 7, 2020


[A Cult Jam] -- I found three separate release dates for Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force, the 1985 debut album by, well, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam. Wikipedia's list of 1985 releases cites 8/8/1985 as the release date, but the Wikipedia page for the album has the release date as 3/17/1985 in the intro paragraph and 9/17/1985 in the sidebar. Even more confusing, AllMusic.com has a release date of 12/17/1985. Whatever the actual release date was, the bottom line is that, before the end of the year, no one outside of Lisa Velez's family probably used her last name anymore. She was Lisa Lisa, the voice and face of the hit song, "I Wonder If I Take You Home." That hit and the other two singles await you after the jump. 

Friday, July 31, 2020

Friday 80s Flashback for July 31, 2020



[KooKoo] -- On July 31, 1981, Debby Harry released her solo album, KooKoo. This date info is from the blog Inside the Rock Era which posted the following note on their 7/30/2011 summation of This Date in Rock Music History: July 31 -- "some websites claim the album was released July 27, and others say it was released August 8, but according to the book 'Punk Diary:  The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock:  1970-1982' by George Gimarc, it was released July 31." KooKoo was the solo debut of Blondie's lead singer, and it featured some sweet cover art by Alien artist H.R. Giger. Giger even directed promo videos for two tracks, "Backfired" and "Now I Know You Know." Both videos are embedded in the Giger link. For this week, I'm sharing the entire playlist rather than selecting a few tracks. But for your reference, the album had two official singles, "Backfired" and "The Jam Was Moving" which peaked at #43 and #82 respectively on the US Billboard charts. No jump this week; go right to the tunes!