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, 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

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

Dietland

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!