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.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Nine Books

So, a recent social media thing has people sharing images of records, books, even movies that have impacted them. Usually, this is done in a string of daily posts, maybe 10 or so. Sometimes context is provided, or an anecdote shared, with the image. At least, that has been the Facebook variation on the theme.

I had to be different, of course. Instead of following the established convention, I instead made a single post with nine books. The only context I gave was that all the books were fiction. And I chose nine because a 3x3 arrangement was convenient.

The books shown in the above image:
  • A Wrinkle in Time (1962) by Madeleine L'Engle
  • American Gods (2001) by Neil Gaiman
  • Armor (1985) by John Steakley
  • The Dark Knight Returns (1986) by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley
  • Neverwhere (1996) by Neil Gaiman
  • Screaming Hawk: Flying Eagle's Training of a Mystic Warrior (1994) by Patton L. Boyle
  • The Night Before Christmas -- A Whitman Giant Tell-A-Tale Book (1960) by Clement C. Moore and illustrated by Catherine Barnes
  • The Walking Drum (1984) by Louis L'Amour
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (1974) by Robert M. Pirsig 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for July 13, 2018

[The Other Dead Pool] -- The Dead Pool was the fifth, last, and least profitable Dirty Harry film. It was released on July 13, 1988: 30 years ago this weekend! Not to be confused with the 2016 film named for a wisecracking and fast-healing mutant mercenary, this Dead Pool followed Clint Eastwood's Detective Harry Callahan as he tried to unravel a dead pool, a game in which high rollers are betting on deaths of celebrities (and a serial killer tries to rig the game). Liam Neeson, Patricia Clarkson, and Jim Carrey (in his first action/dramatic role) are also featured. On top of that, there's also a cameo with Slash of Guns N Roses fame shooting a harpoonLalo Schifrin composed the film's score, making him the main composer for four out of the five Dirty Harry films. However, there was initially no soundtrack album released to accompany this film. Fortunately for soundtrack fans, Schifrin released the music he recorded in 1988 on his own label in January of 2009. The "Main Title" is sufficiently 80s-themed, with keyboards and electronic percussion blended with orchestral instruments. The rest of the album is a coherent set of themes, but the compositions are played with serviceable jazz and pop arrangements. There's really nothing to distinguish the tracks from any other suspense or detective story of the time period. In fact, they would be right at home on films from a few decades earlier. But while the soundtrack breaks no new ground, it is a solid listen from a fine composer. You can check out a few tracks after the jump. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Dangrdafne review:

This new show on AMC is absolutely incredible. I originally watched to see Julianna Marguiles and while she is incredible on the show I am now obsessed with Joy Nash as Plum.

The show is timely, harsh, awful, amazing, hilarious, depressing, empowering, and Joy Nash is spectacular.

I honestly have been wanting to write a review of this show since the first episode but I can’t form coherent thoughts when I try to think of what I want to say. I want to say it all and I want to say nothing and just let people watch and let it unfold for them. The episodes have left me speechless and in tears. In one of the episodes, there is a roar by Plum and I all I could think was how awesome some scream therapy could be.

I am sure there are many readers here who would not like this show or need this show but there are definitely people out there who would benefit from watching this show. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

4 paws and a tail

Friday, July 6, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for July 6, 2018

[Back to Dreamland] -- I love Pat Benatar. In my opinion, she is one of the all-time great rock and roll singers. You won't get me to budge on that. This week, the Flashback revisits not her greatest record, but one that is a significant milestone in her career. In July 1988, Benatar released her seventh studio album, Wide Awake in Dreamland. Dreamland was not only Benatar's last album of the 80s, but her last guitar-driven rock record for a while. And, unfortunately, it marked the beginning of a decline in Benatar's popularity (outside of the faithful, like myself). The songs on this album seem more realized than those of previous efforts, relying less on fire and anger, more on message and mood. Is this growth? Sometimes an artist grows before her audience is ready. Now, as a total package, Dreamland does not match the chart-topping prowess of Benatar's earlier records. It does, however, boast memorable tracks like "Too Long a Soldier" and "Suffer the Little Children" as well as the hit single, "All Fired Up" ... which you can revisit along with two other key tracks after the jump.   

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Gatehouse (Shadowman #3)

Shadowman holds the occult/horror niche in the Valiant universe. Issue #3 of the current run (Volume 5, launched March 2018) features the first appearance of The Gatehouse, a dimensional crossroads. This kind of concept, strikingly realized by artists Adam Pollina and Stephen Segovia, is another example of how this series' approach to the occult just gets better and better. Kudos to writer, @andydiggle, as well!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for June 29, 2018

[Telephone Calls] -- I heard Tommy Tutone's 1981 hit, “867-5309/Jenny,” in the cafeteria yesterday. Every time I hear a song about using the phone, I think about the fact that kids these days don't share an anxiety that was familiar to me and my classmates: The fear of calling someone, but accidentally reaching their parent or guardian instead. Of course, these days, kids use their phones -- cell phones -- to text, Tweet, email, and do just about anything other than making phone calls. Still, I got to thinking of all the great 70s and 80s songs about calling, or trying to call, someone on the phone. The aforementioned “867-5309/Jenny" and Blondie's "Call Me" are too obvious to make this week's playlist. But I did find three fine examples for you. So, if you want to know what three 80s tracks are worth calling home about this week, you can read and hear more after the jump. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

BARRIER by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente

Well, damn. I just read BARRIER by Brian K. Vaughan (script), Marcos Martin (art), and Muntsa Vicente (colors). All five issues.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it damn sure wasn't this.

That's not a complaint, mind you. I'm actually quite impressed. But if you ask me to explain this story, I'd have to say it's a dash of the movie Arrival (2016) blended with several helpings of current politicos about the US southern border, and then celestially colored with hints of awe and irony (tip of the hat to Muntsa Vicente).

This series gets an enthusiastic recommendation from me, especially if you're bilingual; the book is in English and Spanish (and alien, but I don't think you need to know that third language).

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Still Alice - the movie

Dangrdafne review

Where to start.

I think it holds up to the book. Of course, you are always going to miss the details and some of the nuances from the book in a movie but I think you could watch this movie and get all the horribleness there is in regards to Alzheimer’s and how it affects Alice and her whole family.

I think because I read the book first, I felt that the movie was rushed but again that is because the details have to be reduced in order to not have a 4 hour movie and trust me I could not watch 4 hours of Julianne Moore descending into Alzheimer’s. NOT that she wasn’t incredible and that this movie didn’t do this horrible disease justice, it did. I just could not watch it, it was hard enough in less than 2 hours.

Julianne Moore was stupendous as Alice. She portrayed the losing of her mind with perfection. After seeing Alzheimer’s in real life, I could see how she understood it all and knew how to portray it. It was devastating and truly hard to watch, which is a good thing in this case. Watching her not recognize her daughter after a play was heart wrenching.

Kristen Stewart was perfect as the daughter Lydia. I always find it interesting to watch actresses play actresses in shows. She was the perfect amount of anger, sadness, fear, and love that Alice needed and the movie needed. Kate Bosworth was ok as oldest daughter Anna. I was distracted by her harsh edges but then that is what they needed from her but I thought it was too over the top.

Alec Baldwin was good as the husband. He was cold and detached when needed and loving and soft when things got bad. He was definitely believable as Alice’s husband and caretaker.

The movie was beautifully filmed. You get the chance to be Alice a few times and kind of see what she is seeing/feeling. It is disorienting and works well.

I give the movie 3 paws and I say if you have to choose about book or movie first, I say read the book first and then also watch the movie. Seeing the book in front of you and seeing Alzheimer’s in front of you is quite a different experience than just reading about it. And I think they support each other to get their point across.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for June 22, 2018

[STARLITE] -- A friend recently posted a link to The Story Behind Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out" (WSJ). Depending on the source, "Steppin' Out" was released in either June or August of 1982. It spent a total of 27 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #6 on December 11, 1982. It also peaked at #5 in Cash Box magazine, #4 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, and #7 on Billboard's Album Rock Tracks. In short, it was Jackson's biggest US hit. Now, I'm sure I heard "Steppin' Out" on the radio in 1982. However, my clearest memory of the song is as the lead track off STARLITE, a 1983 compilation record from K-Tel. If you watched TV in the 70s and 80s, you probably remember commercials for K-Tel's records and other products. A vinyl copy of STARLITE boasts a retail value of about $2.00 these days, and it features a track list of 14 songs:

1) Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson 2) Eye In The Sky – Alan Parsons Project 3) Personally – Karla Bonoff 4) Nobody – Sylvia 5) Goin’ Down – Greg Guidry 6) Love Or Let Me Be Lonely – Paul Davis 7) Blue Eyes – Elton John 8) Wasted On The Way – Crosby, Stills & Nash 9) Only The Lonely – The Motels 10) On The Wings of Love – Jeffrey Osborne 11) A Penny For Your Thoughts – Tavares 12) You Can Do Magic – America 13) Who’s Crying Now – Journey 14) Love’s Been A Little Bit Hard On Me – Juice Newton

All the songs were top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and half of them reached top 10 status. Yeah, there are a few oddballs on there, like "On The Wings of Love" or "A Penny For your Thoughts," but it's a pretty solid lineup. And while STARLITE harbors no true, straight-ahead rockers, it is kind of a diverse collection of music (as far as 80s top 40 music goes). So, rather than choose my usual trinity of tracks, this week's Flashback is featuring the entire compilation. Enjoy!

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!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Let the games begin

So we received emails from SDCC yesterday that our badges were on their way!

We arrived home and it must have been a worm hole because our badges were already here!

What is everyone looking forward to?

Dangrdafne is looking forward to seeing her friends and getting away from work for a long break.

Brainwise is looking forward to the overall experience of SDCC even for our eighth visit.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for June 15, 2018

[Clutching at the 80s] -- This week in 1987, 80s prog rockers and cult darlings, Marillion, released their fourth studio album, Clutching at Straws. Marillion got their start in Aylesbury, England, in 1979, and took their name from J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, The Silmarillion. A favorite among the D&D playing teens in the early 80s, Marillion reached the peak of their success with Clutching at Straws' predecessor, the concept album Misplaced Childhood (1985). While not as commercially successful as ChildhoodStraws did reach #2 on the UK Albums Chart and it received many positive reviews. In fact, AllMusic.com considers this album to be their "most unheralded masterpiece." It was certainly a transitional record -- it was the last record with singer-songwriter, Fish, and it heralded guitarist Steve Rothery's ascension to being the band's new musical instigator later recordings.

Like ChildhoodStraws is a concept album. However, rather than delving into the vagaries of youth, this record looks the downward spiral of a young adult. In these songs, we see Torch, who is 29 years old and out-of-work. His life is a mess and he seeks solace mainly in alcohol. It is not a happy story, as Torch ends up a raging drunk beyond all hope of redemption.

CD Booklet for UK release of Clutching at Straws
The three singles released from Clutching at Straws were "Incommunicado," "Sugar Mice," and "Warm Wet Circles." However, since we're dealing with a concept album, I thought it might be best to provide a full playlist rather than just pick my usual three selections. Enjoy!

Flashback(s): "I'm a citizen of Legoland travellin' incommunicado  |  And I don't give a damn for the Fleet Street aficionados." (lyrics from the first single, Incommunicado).

Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, 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, June 12, 2018


Dangrdafne review

Simply put, I should NOT like this show at all. It is uber violent, horrifying and dark, soooo dark.


I LOVE this show!

I mean I really love this show. Every episode blows me away with its creativity, acting, filming and crazy. It is the best over the top there can be. I love how everything ties together. You have to watch, though, there is no multi-tasking while Preacher is on.

I adore the family that is created between the three main characters and how they do anything for each other. It is the best kind of family there is, a chosen one.

And speaking of chosen one, Dominic Cooper is spectacular as Jesse aka Preacher. Watching him grapple with his role with Genesis is a thing of beauty. And that hair?? Woah, his hair is perfection.

Ruth Negga is spectacular as Tulip. She is strong, vulnerable, powerful, tough, in love and just a perfect match for Jesse. I want to be Tulip, minus all the violence around her.

Then there is Joseph Gilgun as Cassidy. I used to hate vampires when I was a child but in my adult years I have come to love so many. Cassidy is on that list. He is such a good human... who isn't human. His caring and his loyalty is better than most people.

One of my current fascinations is in season 2: how they wrote Hitler as a sympathetic character. We meet Hitler in Hell and we get to see the cause of his insanity. It is not what you think it is and it makes you question many things. Is he inherently a good person gone bad? Or is he just bad to the bone? These are the questions that come up in Preacher and they leave them for you to work through on your own.

We are two seasons in and the third starts on June 24th. I highly. highly recommend catching up before the 3rd season starts if you aren't watching. I will add that this is a highly violent and gory show. If you are easily queasy, I recommend watching with a friend who is not so they can tell you when to look away and when to watch again. The opening to season 2 is quite horrid but worth it, so worth it.

The search for God is one many of us feel and the way the show weaves everything together is some of the best storytelling there is on TV.

I easily give Preacher 4 paws and a tail !!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for June 8, 2018

[Escalator of Life] -- Some songs are perfect time capsules of time and place. It doesn't matter when such a song hits your ear again, you are mentally transported back to that moment you first encountered it. A perfect example of this happened during my morning commute earlier this week. The opening keyboard strains of "Escalator of Life" came on the radio and I was no longer driving down 309 for my dayjob. No, in my mind, it was 1986 and I was sitting in a dorm room at University Park. RTP, who had just dropped my turntable's needle onto a new-to-me record, looked at me and said, "I think you're going to like this." That was my introduction to Robert Hazard and his 1982 eponymous debut EP. I would later acquire my own copy of this record, which is still in my collection. I would also later learn that Hazard's most famous song was "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," which he wrote and recorded in 1979 but never released. No, he was waiting for the right person to release it, and that person was Cyndi Lauper who made it a #2 song in 1983. Anyway, Hazard released a total of seven records between 1982 and 2007. His later records veered away from his initial new wave sound in favor of a more contemporary singer/songwriter, almost folky, vibe. I even got to see him perform at the Sellersville Theater during this latter stage of his career. We lost him shortly after that tour; he passed away in August, 2008, just shy of his 60th birthday. But this post is about Hazard's first EP in all its 80s glory. And you can revisit some tracks with me after the jump. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Dangrdafne review:

Personally I have no idea why people are not liking this movie. But then I am not a die hard Star Wars fan. I can watch the movie for what is it and not what some expectation of what it “should” be is.


I LOVED this movie. It was fun, funny, heart warming, exciting, clever, well written, great filming and a really great story.

I thought Alden Ehrenreich was perfect as a young Han. I loved his innocence and how you can watch him learn to get stronger, smarter and tougher. It was nice to see the happier side of Han Solo for awhile too.

I was definitely not on board with Woody Harrelson before the movie but I am definitely on board after. I worried that because he was so famous that he would overshadow everyone but that’s not giving Woody’s acting the credit is deserves. He did not overshadow anyone and in actuality his presence brought a much needed grounding to Han and the story. He was portraying the more knowledgeable character and having the “famous” person portraying that role worked perfectly.

Thandie Newton was incredible. Gone waaay too soon in the movie but she was an integral part of the story. I loved watching her learn to like Han and to trust him. Again it was fun watching the more seasoned performer helping out the newbie and the newbie growing and learning from them.

The origin story of Chewbacca and Han meeting was awesome. I don’t know the actual canon story but this was perfect. And talking in Wookie?? Awesome! I actually started to think I could understand it by the end of the movie.

L3 - the droid - was hilarious and her back story leads to a major plot point of the movie. I recently saw the actress who portrayed L3, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, on the Graham Norton show and not only do I now have a girl crush on her but she was just perfect for L3. My favorite part of her story was that when she went to audition for the role she had never seen any Star Wars at all and didn’t know what a droid was. Skip to seeing her in the movie... I would never had guessed she didn’t know what a droid was or that she didn’t know Star Wars. She fit in perfectly and she was hilarious!

Donald Glover as Lando was perfect casting. Exactly what I would think a young Lando would be like and he played perfectly off Han. Emilia Clarke was also great but when the movie ended I had to ask my friend, a Star Wars aficionado, if Q’ira exists or not in the Star Wars world and she said no. But apparently Q’ira might be around in the newest world of Star Wars.

A major point to make about the movie, is that during a major action scene myself and my two friends were pushed back in our seats, holding onto our arm rests, hearts pounding... even though 1) one of us had already seen the movie and 2) we knew the outcome of the scene. It has to be a good movie if we react like that under these two circumstances for sure.

Overall, the movie was a heist movie in outer space and it was perfect. Please don’t listen to the naysayers. Go see the movie and make your own decision. Just enjoy the story and the fun.

4 paws

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback (on a Saturday) for June 1, 2018

[Define My Life] -- So, you might have seen a tweet or an FB post that claims your life can be defined by the song that was #1 when you turned 14. Some time ago, I chased down the #1 song the day I was born, and there are plenty of sites that help you dig that up if you can't research record charts on your own. But back to the 14th birthday thing. I had the good fortune of turning 14 during the 80s, so I wondered what that song might be for me. This Washington Post article has a utility that finds your song and a few runners up. But I had already done my own sleuthing via the Weekly Top 40 blog. And the US Billboard #1 song on my 14th birthday was "I Love Rock 'N Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. In fact, it was #1 for the entire month of April, and it spent seven consecutive weeks in the top slot before being dethroned by "Chariots Of Fire - Titles" on May 8, 1982. Now, I do love rock 'n roll, and I have extraordinary affinity for the simple combination of guitar, bass, and drums. But does this song actually define my life? Well, let's look at some of the runners up:

All four of them are songs I love to this very day. And I still own at least two of them on 45rpm.

There are other songs that were in heavy radio rotation around my 14th birthday (researched here). They include XTC's "Senses Working Overtime," The Jam's "Town Called Malice," and Toto's "Rosanna." Any of those could be a serious contender as the song that explains my life.

However, I feel that "Space Age Love Song" by A Flock of Seagulls is an even more likely culprit (although it was released a full month after I hit the magical age of 14). That track appears as the 2nd entry in my Flashback post of February 9 this very year.

Still, Joan Jett and "I Love Rock 'N Roll" were all over the place as I turned 14. So, as that single was also the title track to Joan Jett's second studio album (and first with The Blackhearts), let's groove to the complete album.

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! While we're waiting till the next post, chime in with your own #1 songs.

Top Image source: Some other Brian's vinyl record birthday cake
Bottom image source: Screen shot of a Facebook post. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War

Dangrdafne review


EVERYONE DIES!! I feel like I have typed that way too many times for the movies I have reviewed lately on this blog.

And it isn’t really true in my opinion. There are only 4 deaths that could be considered real and not coming back. The rest are probably all Superhero deaths and if there is a time stone... which already showed that it can bring back people... well... I didn’t shed any tears. And I really thought I would. I took a ton of tissues with me in preparation but in the end no crying. I am actually kind of bummed about it too.

NOT that I want people to be dead but I felt a little like I was told that people would die and I would be sad but alas I don’t believe it.

I did really enjoy the movie overall though. I thought it was put together very well and all characters got their chance on screen.

I adored Thor and Rocket/Rabbit together.

I loved Tom Holland as Spider-Man. I liked the Tony Stark and Peter Parker interactions. I did actually cheer a little when he got the new suit. Waaaay cool.

I liked the humor the Guardians brought overall.

Gamora was incredible

and under utilized Nebula was great in her small scenes. I am hopeful there is more Nebula in Avengers 4.

I thought the General’s reaction to Black Panther turning to dust was visceral and exactly how I wanted to feel.

Bucky reaching out and saying Steve as his last word was perfection.

Vision saying I love you as his last words was also perfection as it showed how far he has come in his search to be human.

Thanos was a very good villain and his smile as he watches the sun set was quite disturbing. Side note on Thanos, I watched the red carpet premiere and when Josh Brolin was standing with the other actors, he was the shortest of them all but in the movie he is the biggest. Ahhhh movie magic ;)

Thor proves that the human spirit, or in his case a God’s spirit can overcome anything. He has lost the most but he perseveres. He still sees the big picture and continues to fight. No more shall be lost if he can avoid it. Alas...

I thought I didn’t need/want to see the movie again in the theater but I am changing my mind. I am not sure why. Maybe I want to see if I see and hear other things. Was there a moment where “Hulka Hulka Burning Love” was said?? I hear that the story the others day and now I am wondering if it was and if I missed it or forgot about it with everything that happens in the movie.

Please don’t think that because I didn’t write about someone or post their poster means I didn’t appreciate their time in the movie because I really did but if I posted all my thoughts you would never stop reading this post :)

Hopefully you have all seen the movie by now and we can all start posting about it and talking about it. I would love to hear your thoughts on it and if you think everyone is really gone or not.

I give the movie 4 paws.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for May 25, 2018

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

~ Poem: Moina Michael (who wore the first Memorial Day poppy)
Photo credit: Ian Britton [freefoto.com]

[Remember the Heroes] -- Once again, I turn to my archives for post. This time, it's the Memorial Day Weekend post from May 27, 2011 (on Prophet or Madman). And I now re-present it in its entirety for you...

We have arrived at the "official" kick-off for shorts season: a 3-day weekend that culminates in the observance of Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day (check the history). Now, you might recall the 80s as being rife with anti-conflict, protest songs, so you may find it hard to believe I could find some tunes appropriate for the occasion of honoring this nation's war dead. But the 80s were as patriotic or reflective as other decades. So my only real problem was in narrowing the selections down to my usual three. So, are you wondering what gems I have chosen in tribute to those who have died while serving the United States of America? Wonder no more. Read and hear more after the jump.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Arrival - movie

Dangrdafne review

Arrival with Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner.

We had just seen Avengers Infinity War and missed Hawkeye, so we watched Arrival ;)



I am not sure what this movie was about. It was very grey, very confusing at times and very “deep”. Maybe too deep for me. The only thing that helped me determine what it might be about was that in the credits it mentioned it was based on the short story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang. So it was a just a story about Amy Adams’ life I am guessing. But her future life in the current time from her future self?? If someone knows, please let me know in the comments.

Anyway the linguistics part of the movie was very interesting and I really enjoyed watching it and the aliens were pretty cool with awesome sounds! But overall it was just an ok movie. I normally like just a story but I guess when there are aliens involved I expect a little more than a story.

The acting was good and I am glad the main people are actors I really like or else I may not have stuck it out until the end of the movie. I feel like this movie should have been more to me but I just couldn’t grasp it. I would try watching it again but not any time soon I don’t think.

2 paws

Speaking of Avengers Infinity War, that review will come later.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for May 18, 2018

[Earworms] -- I recently read the Quartz Obsession article about earworms. You know what an earworm is, right? It's a song that gets stuck in your head because it has a hook or a lyric that is particularly catchy, and it just plays over and over and over. There's even a scientific name for the phenomenon: Involuntary Musical Imagery (INMI). Well, that got me thinking about my favorite 80s earworms. Not necessarily the annoying ones ... the ones I actually enjoy having stuck in my head, at least for a little while. If you want to know what a few of those songs are for me, you can read and hear more after the jump. And I hope you'll share a few of your earworms in the comments or via Twitter.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Free Comic Book Day 2018

Saturday May 5, 2018 - Dangrdafne write up

The first Saturday in May every year is Free Comic Book Day across the country. And what a day it is. If you have never attended this I highly recommend it, even if you don't collect or read comic books. I don't and I love heading out and seeing everyone enjoying the day.

This year was a big year for us. We went to three different comic book stores (including returning to the first one at the end of the day)!

First up was New Wave Comics in Skippack PA.

I unfortunately was so excited about being there and looking at everything that this is the only picture I have from this shop. Ooops. But they really put on a great time. There was popcorn, free Star Wars pins, 3 free comic books each unless you were in costume then you could get 6 free comic books, there was raffle for some very cool prizes (we didn't win), sales and two artists taking commissions.

We got our free books, had lots of popcorn, got our Star Wars pins and then shopped. A huge part of the free comic book day is that it is suggested you shop the rest of the store and hopefully purchase something to support the day. It may seem counter-intuitive to a free day but the stores purchase the books to give away. So it is definitely not free to them. And if you are out I can't imagine there are not other things you might want to buy from the store.

I certainly found something for my collection ---- Mom, look away now ----

Second was Cyborg One in Doylestown PA.

Look at all those comic books!!!! Not only the ones on the wall but the pile Brainwise was able to take. Here they allowed one of each to their "pull" customers. Since Brianwise has had a pull list at this store for years, he was definitely with the in crowd and he was very excited. He carefully curated his pile (as seen in the above photo) and then started to shop since they were having a sale too.

And I found something here too ---- Mom look away again -----

I love how we (accidentally) set her up in the collection:

Do you get it?

Then to Uncanny in North Wales PA.

This store is located in Montgomery Mall and the last time I was there on my own for this day, there were lots of comic available when I arrived later and I was able to pick 6. This year, wellllll

This was all that was left when we got there. We are not sure exactly how many books they had this year but let's pretend it was lots... so this is a great sign that this store was able to give away so many free comic books. Hopefully some new people will join the ranks of comic book readers.

I didn't buy anything here ---- Mom you are ok with this store ---- :)

Then we headed back to New Wave Comics to close out the day. We needed to go back because Brainwise commissioned a drawing from the evening artist Khoi Pham and needed to drop off the item for the artist. We ended up having more popcorn and talking for quite awhile with Khoi.

It was a really great day. It was pretty tiring and we did waaay too much driving but it was worth it. It was great to see all the costumes and all the kids having a great time. It was also nice to catch up with the store owners and workers and talk comic books, movies and TV.

I will leave Brainwise to tell his side of his finds at each of the stores.

What did you do for Free Comic Book Day this year? Let me know if the comments.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback (on a Saturday) for May 11, 2018

My own mother passed unexpectedly in October 2017. So, I'll be taking the money I would have spent on her Mother's Day cards and gifts, and I'm making a donation to A Woman's Place.  Also, in place of a new Flashback post, I am re-running my Mother's Day post from May 11, 2012. This post is largely, but not entirely, unchanged from its original incarnation.

[Word to the Mothers - Redux] -- This weekend we in the U.S. observe Mother's Day. I don't know if you've ever looked for "mother" songs before, but there are many, many songs with some variation of "mother" in the title or lyrics (mother, mama, mom, etc.). However, the subject matter of the vast majority of those tunes, particularly in the 80s, was not exactly fodder for Hallmark. And, on top of that challenge, two songs that I thought were perfect for the holiday were not recorded or released in the 80s. They both came out in 1991. So, I had to scramble a bit to fill out this week's playlist. I think I have successfully crafted a flashback set that honors mothers, recognizes folks who have less-than-perfect relationships with their mothers, and gives a nod to something that most mothers believe about their offspring at one time or another. So don't just sit there and wonder what three songs I have for you this week. Read and hear more after the break!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Great Philadelphia Comic Con - Part 2 (The Comics!)

Dangrdafne already posted the basics about the Great Philadelphia Comic Con 2018. So I refer you to that post to see an overview of the con itself and pics of some art we picked up. She has, however, left it to me to talk about the comic book aspect of our venture on Saturday, 4/28/2018.

Several weeks prior to the con, I identified the comic creators I wanted to meet and also determined what books I would like them to sign. I'll provide details below. Now, some of the comics I wanted to have signed were already in my collection. Unfortunately, I couldn't find my copies of The Steranko History of Comics Vol 1 and Vol 2, or even access some of my older issues still in storage. So, I had to acquire other books to fill the gaps. Fortunately, with help from a my local shops and a few judicious eBay purchases, I was pretty much set for the convention.

Jim Steranko's table was my first stop, and I had six of his books ranging from 1967 to 1973, all found at a shop near my office. They were:
Strange Tales Vol. 1 #157 and #167

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Great Philadelphia Comic Con

Saturday April 28, 2018

Oaks PA

After spending quite a long time to find a parking space, waiting in line to get in, we were ready to comic con!

Brainwise got lots of comic books signed by various people, I will leave that for him to post about. And I made sure to go directly to Regenerated Arts and get my Wonder Woman art work. I adore Regenerated Arts art. It is just beautiful, so much so, that I couldn’t pass up two more pieces.

I just love her viewpoint and I love that each one of these pieces are a different color but it brings out exactly what you should see. In fact looking at the photos I am realizing there is only one color in each but I see all the colors that I know exist in the view. Wow, so amazing.

Then we accidentally saw the time wrong and went to a panel too early, so we ate lunch and then moved up to the 4th row to see the Black Lightning panel. I am so glad we moved up. I really like Cress Williams and his work and he was directly in front of me on the stage. I really enjoyed that. But I also am glad we went to the panel.

We have not posted a review of the show for Black Lightning and I am glad I haven’t. I am not crazy about the show and especially can not stand the Tobias Whale character but after hearing the panel speak and learning about the actors I have a new appreciation for the show. In fact, I even went up to the Tobias Whale actor, Marvin Jones III, and told him how much I dislike his character but am grateful to find that he is a joy in person. I also had to add that the fact I hate his character makes him a great actor. Since the role is NOTHING like him. I mean nothing like him. I now will be able to watch him and see beneath the evil surface and realize he is just good at what he does.

Then we walked most of the floor and shopped. I only picked up two more pieces of art

and then we chose a book. I was hopeful my Mom would want to read the book we got but I don’t think so. She isn’t much into the supernatural but we shall see after I read it. The Demon in Business Class by Anthony Dobranski.

We also got cool pins

and I LOVE the “logo” tee shirt! I would love to wear this if I ever got to meet Clark Gregg and ask him to join our team :)

I had read not such great reviews of this con but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. You can do it all on the Saturday but you will be pretty tired and we didn’t start at opening for 10am and we were still tired. It is a loud place and no carpets anywhere, so just concrete. Also the “panel rooms” are just portions from the main area with curtains. Soooo if there is a panel going on and an announcement is made, you can no longer hear the panel. Luckily for use, the only announcement came at the end of the Black Lightning panel and Cress made fun of it so it was ok.

I had heard that their food options were limited and not good. I would greatly beg to differ. There were tons of options with even very healthy items and it was all good. Priced a little high BUT that is always expected at a convention center. We ended up wanting and getting French fries and a coffee and Gatorade which are our go to things when wearing thin at a con :) It was all delicious.

The workers and volunteers were all super nice and except for no markings on the aisles to know where you were, the place was set up very well. All the aisles were wide and except for a few times every aisle was passable. I would definitely come back to this con as I liked the ease of it and the smallness. Not overwhelming and the access to creators, celebrity and artists is excellent. It is also not too expensive ...as long as you don’t do VIP and to be honest I did not see a reason to be VIP. I saw no seating areas saved, nor anything really to support this higher pricing. Just get a ticket and enjoy the day, we did.

[Update: As mentioned above, you can also read about Brainwise's comic acquisitions from this con.]