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.

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 ;)



SPOILERS

Maybe

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.]

Friday, May 4, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for May 4, 2018 (Remembering May 3, 2013)





[Goodbye Dad, The Five-Years-Later Edition] -- Welcome to the five year anniversary of my Father's passing, 5/3/2013 to 5/3/2018. I did write a short reflection here, so I won't deviate too much from the usual structure of a Flashback post. Now, five years ago, 5/3/2013 fell on a Friday. And on that afternoon, I chose songs in light of my loss. There had been no Flashback post for the previous Friday, 4/26/2013. Instead, I had rushed to my Dad's bedside because his condition had worsened and the prevailing wisdom was that he was close to leaving us. Although he did improve slightly, it was not enough to merit a celebration. It was, I wrote at the time, simply a postponement of the grief to come.

Over the course of that week five years ago, Dad's condition continued to decline. He had an unidentifiable (yet treatable) infection, and fluid continued to build up around and in his lung. On top of that, his liver was failing. It turned out that the most probable diagnosis was that he was rejecting the transplant (bone marrow and stem cells) from 2010. Or, more technically accurate, the transplant was rejecting him. And, so, we opted to take him off the ventilator, suspend all treatment except pain management, and let him go. He finally did so in the early hours of Friday morning (3:07am, the time this post goes live).

Like I said at the outset of this post, I wrote a Flashback post that afternoon. I picked three songs to work through what I felt we all needed to work through. And if you've made it this far, and care to join me in revisiting those songs, you can read and hear more after the break.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Into the Wild - movie

Dangrdafne review

So I finally watched Into the Wild. Yes, it has been out there a loooong time. I for some reason never watched it, although I had wanted to since it came out. Perhaps I wasn’t meant to watch it when it came out, perhaps it was meant to be watched the day I saw it. One can never be too sure but I can tell you this, I am broken from this movie. Absolutely broken. I can not get the last moments of the movie out of my head. I can’t stop seeing two moments and I find myself crying still over it.


SPOILERS

Perhaps one of the reasons for my devastation is that I forgot it was a true story. That what happens actually happened to someone. Knowing that someone went through all that happened just breaks my heart. Also I had forgotten (or if I ever knew) how it would end.

He dies. And he dies from something really stupid. And only really stupid because he worked so hard to learn everything and do everything right that it just sucks that it was a mistake that makes him leave this world. And to make matters worse, people finally do come along.... just 20 days too late. I am not even sure I will be able to type up this post. My heart hurts just typing this paragraph.

Perhaps I am too emotional or sentimental. I just HATE that his whole life ended in abject loneliness and his realization that “Happiness is only real when shared.” Oh goodness gracious. A great learning point but with no way to then live that out... ouch.

He was a true philosopher and maybe if I researched philosophers I would find out that they all die alone and sad. I don’t know but actually there is no way I want to research that. My brain and heart hurt from this and while I learned a lot about myself while watching this movie, all that can not come to the front because I can’t get the end out of my mind. Sorry that this is more like a therapy session than a movie review but I think I need it. And maybe someone reading does too and that is why I am typing this.

Be sure to live your lives fully, engage with others no matter you introversion or extroversion, just find your people. Find your solace. Reach out when you need anything, there is always someone there. Basically don’t run off into the wild to live. I am not sure you can live there. And the evidence from Alex Supertramp supports my theory.

I am not sure I can recommend the movie but I still give it 4 paws because it made me pause. The soundtrack is incredible and the acting is impeccable. Hal Holbrook was a joy and Kristen Stewart was perfect. The whole cast brought their A games and I am glad because if they did not it would have made the movie even harder to process. I am sure most of you are not as emotional as I am, so if you have not seen it or if you have not seen in it awhile, check it out. Maybe it is a movie needed for these times.

If you find that you need to chat after watching, come find me in the comments.