BookBin2015: Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space

sr-fawis

I’m doing things a bit backward. I had hoped to finish posting the rest of my reads from the end of last year. That’s just not happening right now. Too much “other” going on at the moment. And, of course, I’ve got several books from this year that I should be posting first…but this seemed like the right place to start, on the right day.

See, yesterday would have been Dr. Sally Ride’s 64th birthday, had cancer not had different plans for her. It seemed only right, then, to make a special effort to finish Lynn Sherr’s recently released biography on Dr. Ride, very aptly and originally named Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space.

Of course, as I commented elsewhere, when you have the distinction of having been the first American woman in space, there really isn’t a more appropriate or better title than that for your biography.

As I already stated, I finished reading this book last night. I couldn’t stop thinking about it—or aching from it—for about an hour afterward. The final few chapters are quite difficult to get through, not just because they touch upon Dr. Ride’s decline and death from pancreatic cancer, but also because they go into (slightly) more detail about the relationship she kept private for nearly 30 years.

I know many people within the LGBTQ community were angry with Dr. Ride for hiding the fact that she was gay, only allowing the news to be released in her obituary. Some have even gone so far as to label her a traitor to the fight for gay rights. IMHO, anger is deserved but misplaced. If you want to be angry, be angry with the culture that prevailed at the time Dr. Ride decided to enter NASA and become an astronaut. Be angry at the militaristic conservatism of a former boys’ club that in no way would have tolerated or even accepted an openly gay person among their astronaut corp. This was the agency that, as late as the early 1990s, tried to convince on-staff medical providers to add homosexuality to a list of disorders that would disqualify astronaut candidates.

But anger at Dr. Ride?

We hear people talk all the time about sacrifice to get what they want. We hear it from athletes. We hear it from politicians. We hear it from celebrities. Sally Ride sacrificed (and was lucky to have a partner willing to bear the sacrifice with her). She sacrificed herself to what she saw as a greater purpose—representing and supporting NASA, serving the myriad students she taught and inspired (many of whom ended up working for the space agency she so clearly felt devoted to), encouraging and educating young girls in the pursuit of STEM goals. She sacrificed by compartmentalizing her life so thoroughly that not even close lifelong friends knew of her relationship with Tam O’Shaughnessy. Suspected. But never knew. Dr. Ride was a woman tightly protective of her privacy and fiercely focused on her goals.

Toward the end, was this because she still believed that such information would be damning? Did she believe that corporate sponsors and conservative parents would refuse the help of an organization run by two lesbians (something not that difficult to imagine as a legitimate fear back then when even today we have businesses refusing to serve gay patrons)? Or was it simply that she didn’t know how to let go of the control that she had kept over everything her entire life? It’s all speculation at this point, now, as author Lynn Sherr duly notes. Sherr, by the way, was friends with Dr. Ride, having spent a large portion of her career covering NASA, and Dr. Ride’s family and partner asked her to write this book.

Whatever her reasons, Dr. Ride did what she felt was necessary, and she made our world that much better because of it. She was the first American woman into space because she was the best choice for the job, period. She continued to support NASA throughout the rest of her life, even when it meant serving on the investigative commissions of both shuttle accidents, Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003. She established Sally Ride Science as a way of encouraging young girls to pursue their dreams all the way to the stars, just as she had. She saw the danger that loomed ahead for this country as we fell further and further behind in the global STEM rankings. She also saw the danger of ignoring the fragility of our ecosystem and she constantly and consistently delivered the message that we needed to be more aware of our impact on this world because it’s the only home we have.

She was a remarkable human being who just happened to be a woman, who just happened to be gay. Hers was a life that deserves celebration, if not also a soupçon of sadness at the possibility that she lived a life incomplete because she felt it had to be so.

Final Verdict: I actually first started reading this as a library checkout, but stopped when I realized that I was going to buy it for myself. It will be going on my autobiography/biography shelf, right next to another book I recently read all about another woman who was first on her own trek to the stars.

Photo Fun Friday: Richard Simmons

I don’t know what I want to do with Flashback Friday. In some ways, I feel as though that particular part of the lair has run its course. Not sure. Still hashing it out.

Photo Fun Friday, though, is something I still enjoy doing. And I’ve been having these weird ideas for photo mash-ups that combine celebrities with similar names. Kind of like what I did with Dylan McDermot Mulroney or Steven Tyler Moore. Oh, or Tawny Kattan. I still get a kick out of that one.

Then there’s Richard Simmons. This bolt of lightning hit me during my commute this morning.

richard-simmons

Fabulous Photo Friday: Zoonami!

This is the post that started the downfall of the lair last September. I wanted to find a nice photo gallery plug-in, which I thought I had. Turns out, though, that because my CMS was already crashing, the plug-in just served to bring it down even more. Strangely, that same plug-in still won’t play nicely with my blog. Oh well, just had to find a new one.

These are photos from a trip I took to San Diego in January 2014. For a couple of exquisite reasons, my time at the San Diego Zoo quickly became the pinnacle of my time there. I spent practically from the moment the zoo opened until right when it closed, roaming the paths, snapping tons of photos, and just standing, mesmerized, while watching all the marvelous beasties at play.

Here, then, are my favorite photos from that day.

See You in the Funnies

Okay, denizens, you can relax. I’ve made my decision. I’m not going to write individual reviews of all the books that I finished last year while I struggled to rebuild my lair (I know, many of you were probably up for many nights,  pondering what my decision would be). I have 15 books from that time frame (not counting the books that I have finished already in 2015). With what I wrote last time about not wanting this to just be a book review blog, I think it makes more sense to condense my reviews rather than posting 25 book reviews (yes, I’ve already finished 10 books so far this year; those I might actually review individually).

This post, therefore, will be for the graphic novels that I finished at the end of 2014. What’s going to make this an even quicker post is the embarrassing truth that I don’t really remember a whole lot about what I wanted to say about some of these novels. Old age, my friends. It’s coming.

Let us begin…

parker1

I admit right away that I knew nothing of Richard Stark or his character Parker when I saw these three graphic novels at the library. All I knew was that they were new to the graphic novel section and there were three of them. For some reason, I’m always more inclined to pick up new graphic novels if they’re a series and more than one is available right away. Weird, right?

After reading all three of these novels, I did a little investigating and stumbled across the Web site The Violent World of Parker, which actually provides quite the appropriate blurb on Parker:

You’ve heard of the hero and the anti-hero…how about the non-hero? That’s how Parker, the main character in a series of novels by Richard Stark (AKA Donald E. Westlake) has been described. Parker is a thief, but he’s no charming cat burglar who playfully eludes the silly authorities. He’s a ruthless thug who does whatever it takes to get what he wants (usually money), and he doesn’t care about a living soul other than himself. Some of the things he does will be repellent (I hope) to readers.

Thug? Yes. Non-hero? Yes. Repellent? Yes. I don’t envision myself reading any more of these graphic novels or ever reading the original books on which they were based. However, I have to say that Darwyn Cooke did a fantastic job of translating Parker and his world into a neo-noir, almost Sin City-esque monochromatic nightmare world in which there aren’t really good guys. Just degradations of bad. Where does Parker fall on this spectrum of gray? Well, I’ve confirmed that he’s a non-heroic thug who does repellent things. You’re smart. You can suss this out.

Final Verdict: Beautiful, succinct artwork does very little to diminish the inherent ugliness of Parker’s world. As crime novels go, I suspect that true fans might adore Parker. I did not, but I give credit where it is due. Cooke has taken existing stories and given them a compelling visual spin.


batman1

This will be an even quicker review. Again, I picked up the first two graphic novels for the New 52 reboot of Batman because they appeared as a pair. A mediocre, rather banal pair. I actually found the storylines tedious. Then again, I haven’t really found Batman to be anything less than that description for quite some time. Over-saturation is never a good thing for me.

I willingly admit that I should not have picked up these novels, even if they did arrive as a pair at the library. I’m not interested in Batman’s world right now. Also, the pressing present need to make everything dark and grave and bleak is no longer appealing to me, even with the Caped Crusader and his filthy Gotham. Plus, Batman keeps spiraling ever-downward into a fugue state of vigilante insanity that I fail to find appealing. I grew up watching Adam West as Batman. This new guy? He really needs to lighten up.

And is it just me, or is Bruce Wayne an overindulged narcissist? This was the image that really hit this truth home to me (not the text; just the image itself):

vaingloriousbruce

“Why, of course I’ll help you, orphan…but only if you’re a young White male who looks exactly like I did when I was orphaned. I can’t be helping riff-raff who won’t look as good in a tux as I do.”

Bruce Wayne is a jerk. Discuss.

Final Verdict: I promise, I won’t check out any further adventures of Narcissisto Whackadoodle and his band of merry clones as long as I’m in my current state of mind regarding superheroes.


ldoai

I actually deeply enjoyed Fabien Vehlmann’s Last Days of an Immortal. Simple, desaturated, slightly impressionistic art masking the futuristic complexities of a sci-fi mystery. What’s not to love about that? The text deals with numerous concepts that many a sci-fi nerd has wrestled with, I’m sure, including the allure of immortality—as well as the inevitable tarnishing of said allure when what is wished for is finally obtained.

Lisle:
Siempre Viva! Live Forever!

Ernest:
Then what?

Lisle:
What?

Ernest:
Then what happens?

Lisle:
What?

Ernest:
I don’t want to live forever. I mean, it sounds good, but what am I gonna do? What if I get bored?

Lisle:
What?

Ernest:
And what if I get lonely? Who am I gonna hang around with, Madeleine and Helen?

Yes, I just quoted Death Becomes Her.  You’re welcome.

Final Verdict: I definitely want to revisit this novel.


edtwof

I thought I would never finish this book. I used to read Alison Bechdel’s strip “Dykes to Watch Out For” when I was in college. I didn’t read it with regularity, but I read enough of it to keep up with the general flow. However, when I discovered this massive beast of a collection at the library, I couldn’t resist revisiting those Essential Dykes.

I think that Bechdel’s efforts with this strip were, pardon the pun, essential at the time she actively drew them. She challenged misconceptions and represented the lesbian community at a time when representation was critical. It wasn’t all positive representation, mind you, but that’s life. The expectation that gays must be flawless beyond reproach—eunuchs of purest, guileless intent—to be tolerated (not accepted…tolerated), is, as my father would be most likely to say, “rubbish” (thank you, BBC America, for confirming his continued standing as an Anglophile).

However, that was where the mindset was evolving at the time when Bechdel’s Sapphic squad was in its prime. People are people, flaws and all. We’re messy, we humans. All of us. The beauty of Bechdel’s strip was that it wasn’t all beautiful. But it was fairly real. Bechdel wasn’t into the Will & Grace approach. She didn’t want her characters to be one-dimensional, static, bland. She made them damaged, well-intentioned, raw, emotional, ravenous, intellectual, sumptuous, eclectic.

She made them people. Imagine that.

Final Verdict: As essential as I agree Bechdel’s strip was, I’m not kidding. I seriously felt as though I would never finish this collection. It was like the friggin’ Energizer Bunny. I suspect that it’s best consumed in bits and bobs, which one might be able to do if one owned this. However, I was under a time limit, thank you, library. OVERLOAD. I suspect I might change my mind later and perhaps want to revisit this book, but not yet. Still, I heartily acknowledge the value and importance of Bechdel’s contribution to gay literature.


revolverI’m not really sure why I picked up Matt Kindt’s Revolver, but I did find elements of it to be quite enticing. The crux is that we are witnessing the main character, Sam, as he revolves between two parallel existences—one in which he is a run-of-the-mill office worker, slinking through a life that leaves him almost completely disengaged and disinterested in everything; and the other in which he finds himself struggling to survive a post-disaster nightmare that finally reaches him and forces him to take control and take and active role in creating his own path. In one, he just survives and in the other he is just barely surviving. One leaves him a husk and the other finally lights a fire within him and makes him want to do whatever it takes to keep going and keep doing what he thinks needs to be done. In one universe, he finds a purpose that he had completely abandoned even considering in the other. Though violent and destroyed and uncertain at best, the post-apocalyptic universe seems to be where it’s at for young Sam. Who knew?

I don’t remember being terribly blown away by the artwork, but I did enjoy the story and I found a couple of things to be quite creative. For instance, the bottom of every page, where the page numbers appear, had a news ticker into which the page numbers were somehow embedded as part of whatever news item was being reported, whether in the bland universe or the catastrophic one. Well-played there, Mr. Kindt.

Final Verdict: Good read but not one I marked as wanting for my own collection.


I grabbed Matt Howarth’s quick graphic novella The Downsized downsizedfrom the shelf as sort of an afterthought. I recognized it as being new and figured that it would take me no more than the better part of an hour to read it. What’s the harm in that?

It was definitely a very quick read. The Amazon review describes it at one point as “Think Big Chill for the new millennium.” I can kind of see that. Just without the music. Or the depth.

Not to say that this isn’t a well-considered story. It’s a slice-of-life contemplation on the status of the lives of several friends (and former lovers) who have gone through a series of tumultuous professional and personal experiences.

It’s called life.

Of course, there are a couple of unexpected twists to the story, which I suppose also fall soundly and correctly within the descriptive boundaries of “life” as well. I don’t really have much else to say about this one. Also, I’d hate for this review to go any further. It might end up being longer than the actual story.

Final Verdict: Nah, I’ll pass.

Cinco de Loba

My world started falling apart a few months ago.

Not my actual world. That’s still quite spectacular, thank you. No, my virtual world. My online lair. Here. You may or may not have noticed it. Things started slowly shutting down. Things were never quite right with my WordPress CMS after some kind of glitch in a regular update many many moons ago, but it was never bad enough to cause me to have to fix it. I just had to work around the inconveniences. I couldn’t save drafts. I couldn’t schedule uploads. I wasn’t able to preview posts. Stupid things that started adding up to larger, more irritating things.

Then the degradation began to become worse, until finally one day my site simply stopped working. The posts on the front page would load, but links to other pages stopped working and links to the individual posts stopped working. And then.

Poof.

Nothing would load. Nothing would back up. Nothing would save.

Honestly? I was a little heartbroken. I thought that I was going to have to scrap the entirety of my blog and start fresh. Somehow, though, I was able to force the CMS to give one final push and dump out the text. I was then able to get Adobe Acrobat to give me a PDF of a significant portion of my site, and I was able to save the photo folder from my ISP.

It took a hot minute, but slowly, I got the blog back together, purged my old WordPress site and built it back up, new. I haven’t completely finished tweaking and adding everything back, but the foundation is there, and it’s finally and once more solid. It’s taken me another hot minute or two to finally eke out the time to make this first new post to my “new” blog. My actual world is, as I said, quite lovely holistically. Certain cogs in the wheel, however, are squeaky and require far more attention than I used to have to give them. Those cogs have been consuming not just a lot of my time but more of my energy than a salt vampire at a Morton’s Factory.

Yeah, I’m still a nerd. Nothing’s ever going to change that.

However, the longer the time that passed since everything went Louie Kablooie, the more I realized how much I missed coming here and writing, even if it was just a review of whatever book I’d just finished. Oh, and for the record, I’ve been keeping a running tally of all the books I’ve read since my last BookBin review and I plan on posting reviews of them. I just need to decide whether or not I want to do individual reviews for all the ones I finished in 2014 or just lump them together into one summary. Because, see, I don’t want this to just be a book review blog anymore. I kind of lost my way for a while and didn’t really have a whole lot to write about. I think that’s changed.

All I know is that I have missed coming here. I’ve missed my lair. I’ve missed writing for fun, for myself. So, like Norma Desmond, I’ve come home at last.

And this time will be bigger and brighter than we knew it
So watch me fly, we all know I can do it

Okay, enough Broadway. You’ve survived to the end of this post. Have this photo of an adorable kitty as a reward. He’s my dad’s newest cat. He’s skittish as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs and when my dad found him outside, he had puncture wounds in his neck from being attacked by a dog. He’s so nervous that it took three days of patience before he was finally comfortable enough with my presence to allow me to pet him. But he’s adorable, isn’t he? Who doesn’t love adorable kitties?

little_kitty

BookBin2014: The Silkworm

silkworm

It looks like this is the year when I rediscover J.K. Rowling, eh? I’ve already reviewed The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo’s Calling this year, and obviously enjoyed them enough that I wanted to continue reading Rowling’s more adult fare. I have to admit that I wasn’t quite prepared to jump into her latest offering, The Silkworm, just yet. However, when the library emails to inform you that you’re next in line for a popular book you’ve placed on hold? You make yourself ready.

As with The Cuckoo’s Calling, this is another book Rowling wrote under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, and another book featuring the private detective Cormoran Strike. Again, I have to say that I love Rowling’s ability to create holistically stimulating worlds for her characters and, subsequently, her readers. I love falling into the pages of these books, walking alongside these characters. I think Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott are delightful and I enjoy every moment I’ve gotten to spend with them thus far. I admittedly find some of the secondary characters irritating, but that’s life, innit? The core is compelling, and that’s what matters most.

I also enjoyed the plot of this novel a bit more than the first Cormoran Strike story. Much darker than the first story. Much more gruesome and sinister. This story focuses on the fate of an out-of-favor author who goes missing, only to turn up murdered in a manner similar to the fate of the protagonist in his latest book. With only a select group of people having seen said manuscript, it’s up to Strike and Ellacott to shake away the chaff and find the culprit.

Let’s drag out the dead horse that I usually beat at this point regarding mystery novels. All together now: “Not my cuppa.” Fine. I think they might at least be growing on me…or at least, Rowling’s take on the genre is wearing me down. This story was a lot less anticlimactic in its reveal than I found the reveal to be for The Cuckoo’s Calling. I still felt slightly “meh” regarding this reveal (perhaps because I had started to pick up on where the story was heading and why), but more for my own personal mystery aversion. Objectively, Rowling pulled together a fantastic story. Also, she’s quite the twisted sister. Me gusta. There were a couple of particularly vicious reveals that either made me newly appreciative of her obvious internal darkness or laugh as a result of my own gallows humor. Rowling continues to impress me with her authorial acumen to a point where, even when I don’t necessarily enjoy the genre, I’m still going to willingly go along for the ride because I know the driver is so impressively skilled.

Final Verdict: Even though I wasn’t quite prepared to fall down the mystery novel rabbit hole once again, Rowling made it easy for me to follow her by providing me with another riveting visit to yet another one of her skillfully built worlds. Actually, I think I enjoyed this one enough that I could see it finding its way into my library. Definitely looking forward to the next Cormoran Strike tale!

BookBin2014: Batgirl Volume 3: Death of the Family and Volume 4: Wanted

batgirl2

It seems to be that I’m locked in a ménage à trois with Kate Kane and Barbara Gordon. I spend time with one…I inevitably then spend time with the other. It’s not a bad relationship, to be sure…especially when you’ve got someone like Gail Simone still plotting the course for Batgirl (I can’t really deal with Batwoman’s future right now).

Simone is still at the helm, thankfully, for Batgirl’s third and fourth graphic novel collections, Death of the Family and Wanted. The third volume is part of an umbrella story arc that ran through a few other Gotham-related characters’ comics as well, but was still compartmentalized quite nicely enough that you don’t need to read the others if you’d rather not (which I’d rather not, thank you). There were a couple of elements that I was a bit curious about, but the wonderful thing about teh Interwebz is that you can find the answers to almost any of life’s lesser mysteries with the click of a few mouse buttons or the swipe or two of a finger. It’s fantabulous, is what it is.

I love that one of the holdovers from the “clean slate” reboot that continues to remain a significant part of Batgirl’s storyline–being previously shot and paralyzed by the Joker–returns in this collection, full-throttle. I love that the writer who helped Barbara Gordon deal with the aftermath of that moment in her life is once more leading our heroine through the fray. I also love that Simone is one of those rare gems of a writer in that she’s able to balance between the action and the interpersonal connections of her characters with the dancer’s grace of Batgirl herself. Sometimes, she falters a bit…but she is mostly on-point the entire time.

Same continues into the fourth collection, which deals with the aftermath of how the third collection ended. Cliffhangers are cliffhangers, denizens. They keep you hanging on and hanging around. I would love to give more details regarding the action…but spoilers. I don’t necessarily mind mentioning something like Batgirl’s former paralysis by the Joker because that original action happened many moons ago at the hands of a Joker wielded by the pen of Alan Moore. The expiration date on keeping that secret ran out a long time ago. However, all this action is new and fresh–and quite enjoyable. Again, I feel a bit guilty stating this, but I think Batgirl is having the better run in the Bat Race between her and Batwoman.

Why do I say this? More holistically solid writing. Less misogynistic artwork. Way less. Again, I can’t help but wonder if this is because Simone is at the helm of the writing, but the artwork for Batgirl not only has been consistently beautiful, but it also rarely ever feels exploitative. It’s celebratory of the female form, yes. It’s depicting physiques that are physically impossible, yes. It’s a comic book. That’s allowed. What shouldn’t be allowed is wanton sexism and objectification of women. And that is something that has been blissfully absent from each one of Batgirl’s collections. I wish I could say the same of Batwoman.

The other thing that I will mention in this review, that happened in a beautifully understated and naturalistic way, is this moment:

yeoh

Alysia Yeoh is Barbara Gordon’s roommate. If you’d like to know more about Simone’s rationale for this character, you can read it here.

With what transpired with Batwoman and the fallout of Williams and Blackman leaving before they could even finish their story arc, I’m admittedly skittish about this revelation. I’ve no idea where it will go from here. If it were up to Simone only? I’d have no worries at all. She is brilliant and kind and will give this character the respect she deserves. However, there’s always the shadow of DC itself, hovering over its characters and making rash decisions for no logical reason. I hope nothing bad happens to Alysia. I’ll be watching, DC. Make note.

Final Verdict: Keepers, they both are. I was a little meh about the revelation at the end of the fourth collection, but mainly because it was predictable in that genre fiction way. However, cliffhanger failure notwithstanding, these two were solid entries into the New 52 continuation of Batgirl’s story.

BookBin2014: Batwoman Volume 4: This Blood Is Thick

tbit

I’m quite sad that I am here to give a rather lackluster review to my latest adventure with Kate Kane. Perhaps it’s because the last collection was, by far, the best of the best since Batwoman’s “New 52″ relaunch. After all, it’s kind of hard to top Batwoman partnering with Wonder Woman. Also, Williams was back as the artist, which you all know delights me to no end. And both Williams and Blackman were fiercely on-point when it came to that collection’s story arc. Simply put, the third collection was perfection, IMHO.

The fourth volume, This Blood Is Thick, isn’t awful (that’s such backhanded praise, no?). Something about it, however, didn’t set well with me. Perhaps it had more to do with my knowledge of the behind-the-scenes issues. As fans know, this was Williams and Blackman’s last run as Batwoman’s authors. She’s now in another’s hands, with Williams and Blackman not even concluding the cliffhanger on which this collection ends. It’s a good cliffhanger, to be sure…but that just makes it all the worse. Dance with the one who brought you, DC. They brought the Lady Kane to this precipice. They should have been the ones allowed to lead her over the edge.

But I digress.

Perhaps it also was because Batwoman actually doesn’t get all that much air time in this collection. Surprisingly, for being the titular character, she’s almost relegated to supporting cast a lot of the time. That’s not necessarily terrible, since many of the supporting characters in Batwoman’s world are pretty ace…but I still would like my fair share of time with the star of the show. Also, I didn’t really like the injection of Batman villains into Batwoman’s storyline. I get why they’re there, but I have always enjoyed that Batwoman kind of exists in her own…what? Parallel universe to Batman and the rest of the Bat family? They don’t really intersect all that often (although Batgirl got a full-on taste of Batwoman’s mad skills a while back). I like that. But this time, seeing Batwoman going up against Batman foes like Mr. Freeze and Bane? I don’t know anything about these characters…and I don’t care to. They aren’t Batwoman characters. So GTFO.

Says the one who went crazy over Wonder Woman’s appearance in the last collection.

Finally, though, it really is the ending that really pissed me off with this collection. Again, Williams and Blackman were cut off at the knees here. They’d already written Issue 25 (the continuation of where this collection ended) and were beginning to plan out Issue 26, which would have ended the arc of this particular Batwoman run. They knew where all the characters were going to end up, they knew how they were going to conclude the story…and now? Now we’re never going to get their ending. And that sucks. Seriously, I reached the last page and felt oh so frustrated and not the least bit furious. Really? That’s it? That’s how you wanna roll with this, DC Comics? Lame.

Final Verdict: All that being said, I’m keeping this in my collection. I don’t think that it was so terrible that I don’t want to own it anymore. I am, however, very disheartened by the truncated whimper on which Williams and Blackman have gone out with Batwoman. This is the last batch of their comics, and the next collection will mark the arrival of the new Weaver of Tales for the Lady Kane, Marc Andreyko. I’m not sure what to expect with the next collection, but I love the character enough that I’m willing to give it a proper chance to impress me. All I have to say is don’t blow this, Andreyko. I don’t take kindly to people fumbling my fandoms.

Photo Fun Friday: Dylan McDermot Mulroney

I’m struggling to find the time and the motivation for posting lately, but this was another one of those “inspired-by-true-events” misspoken names, a la the now infamous Tawny Kattan photo (which is still probably less traumatic than Steven Tyler Moore), that turned into an “I have to make that happen” PhotoShop moment.

Without any further explanation or any further ado, I give you…Dylan McDermot Mulroney. You are, of course, very welcome.

Dylan McDermott Mulroney

BookBin2014: Scream Deconstructed: An Unauthorized Analysis

screamdeconstructed

This is going to be a really short review because: A) this book isn’t going to be for everyone; and B) my feelings for the book are probably already very obvious to those who know me. Lucky you, denizens.

I bought the Kindle version of Scott Kessinger’s Scream Deconstructed: An Unauthorized Analysis completely on a whim (darn easy 1-click Amazon shopping option). Why? Because I love Scream.

You know, in case you haven’t noticed that before in all the myriad posts I’ve dedicated to banging on about this particular movie/franchise.

/ end sarcasm

In fact, I would even go so far as to say that, if I had to choose one horror movie I’ve seen…just one…that would be my default horror movie from now until forever? Scream would be in the elite list of five from which I would struggle to make my final selection. I’ll let you try to figure out what the other four are.

Do I love the rest of the franchise as much? Not by a long shot. That first film comprised some bit of magic that was so precious and rare that it simply could not be recaptured for the sequels. But I find things to appreciate about the other movies. Well, maybe not the fourth one. I do believe I have already made my feelings about Scream 4 very clear.

Although, to be honest, after reading Kessinger’s analyses of the fourth movie, I was intrigued and impressed enough by his thoughts that I rented the movie to give it a fair shake at perhaps showing me what it showed him. I admittedly still didn’t see what he saw (and still saw a depressingly disappointing addition to the trials and tribulations of Woodsboro’s sauciest survivors), but I still appreciate what he sees in this film and value his opinion.

All that being said, I can’t recommend this book to everyone…or to most people, for that matter. If you don’t like the movies, then this is not a book for you. It’s definitely only for the truly obsessed. Like yours truly. However, if you do love, or even just really really like, Scream and its sequels? Then I can’t recommend this book enough.

Final Verdict: Staying on my Kindle. It’s short, it’s sweet, it’s got some great analyses, even if I don’t always agree 100 percent, and I imagine I will be going back to peruse this one every now and again. Whether or not that means I’ll ever give Scream 4 another go is a completely different story…