Aug 24, 2016

Now Hear This - Michael Nesmith's Cruisin'

Waaaaay back in the day, MTV used to play music videos. I've tuned into the recently VH1 Classic re-branded MTV Classic and every single time, it has been a TV show or movie. I swear there was talk of them playing videos on there, but I'm getting off topic...

At various times in the 80s, Weird Al took over MTV and made it AlTV for a few hours. He'd play skits and plenty of music videos you'd be hard pressed to catch during MTV's normal rotation. And I being a young fan of Mr. Yankovic, recorded the entire show on VHS because that's how we rolled in the 80s. I don't recall which incarnation of Al TV it was but I seem to remember it being during the summer, so I'm loosely tying this into my favorite things about summer series of posts.

Now, I could be wrong about it being during the summer because of the subject matter of the music video, but ever since viewing this gem I associate it with summer. I can practically feel the A/C on me as I imagine watching it on TV.

According to Wiki, Cruisin' was the last solo single released by Michael Nesmith in 1979. Yes, The Monkees' Michael Nesmith, as if there were more than one in the world!

I was a young teen when I first saw this video so I don't think I fully got the whole picture of what exactly was goin on in the lyrics. All I really got was a sort of Three's Company vibe happening between Lucy and Ramona and Sunset Sam. The simple repetitive bass line and chorus got lodged in my head to the point where in the pre-internet days I thought the song was called "Lucy and Ramona". Thanks to the internet, I now know the name of the song is "Cruisin'" and I can share this piece of my summer history with you.

Grab a cold one, Ecto Cooler if you're lucky enough, and prepare for a trip back to the early 80s and the epicness that is Michael Nesmith's Cruisin'...

Fun fact: Sunset Sam is not portrayed by a young Hulk Hogan.

Aug 21, 2016

The League is Back in Season

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of the League of Extraordinary Bloggers, the Pop Culture League is born anew!

Masterminded by Brian over at Cool and Collected, the original LoEB was a fun way for bloggers to join together with their take on a weekly topic or challenge and it's a good way to meet folks outside your current circles. It's back and slightly tweaked for the hip kids to join in with their Instapics, Facebooks, or Slapchat. If you want to join in, you can get all the details here. There's no commitment, just join in when you want.

If you're reading this, you probably already know the League is back because someone else has posted about it. I don't have a lot of time to write during the week so I'm usually going to be the last one to the party every week. But I'm here!

The topic for the return of the League is Shelfie.

With the end of August looming, I thought I'd start getting into the Halloween spirit! I know stores have had candy displays out for weeks and the Spirit store at the mall has opened so it's time to get things started!

There's plenty of books on this shelf to keep you busy during the spooky season. Starting on the left are quite a few (if not all) of artist Gris Grimly's books. I highly recommend his Wicked Nursery Rhymes series. 

All sorts of "reference" material for encountering the supernatural. The only thing I'm really missing is Tobin's Spirit Guide and now I can finally get one!

The right side of the shelf is mostly fiction with the odd "idea" book. This is also where most of my Halloween-ish Playmobil characters live. Now that I think about it, this is not most of them. Most of them are packed in with the Halloween decorations but those are trick or treater types dressing up, not actual creeps!

Off to the far, far right (out of frame) is the Halloween Tarot and the I Luv Halloween omnibus. The book is a collection of the three I Luv Halloween manga in glorious color. If you've got a warped sense of humor and a love of Halloween,you have to read this. It's got an 80s kid adventure vibe to it, only it's definitely R-rated! I re-read it every year.

The Egyptian princess is there because of the mummy on the left and because of the Egyptian dagger. If you've got books on how to fight monsters, you need something to fight them with, right? Plus, I think it just looks cool, like it could be magical.

Well, that wraps up the first Pop Culture League post! Curious what other League members are posting? Head on over to the Shelfie post at Cool and Collected.

Here's a few to get started

GI Jigsaw has an amazing vintage Star Wars display
Relatively new blog Scotch and Spacemen has got lots of 80s toys
The Harvey Mercheum is packed with merch based on Harvey Comics

Aug 15, 2016

Boston Comic Con 2016

Boston ComicCon was this past weekend and at best, I think I can say I had a pretty okay time. The main reason we went was to see John Barrowman again and he did not disappoint, but I'll get to him later.

We planned to get there at 11, an hour after the doors opened, figuring the line to get in would have pared down by then...


Not only was there still a huge line, but for some reason, we were lined up in a different place than what was sent out in an email from the convention days before. The plan was to line up around the building and this line went a few blocks away from the building.

To give you an idea, the red line is where we ended up going and the green arrows show the path around the building which has a lot more space for people to line up and be out of the general public's way. I'm not great at estimating distances but if you look toward the bottom left of the green (next to the word Priest) you'll see the Spirit of Boston which is a luxury cruise yacht. Not a small ship!

Once we got to the end of the red line in front of the building, we then had to follow the green arrows all the way around to get back to the front. Maybe they did stick to the plan and there was such a line that it went around the building and then down the block? The only good thing about waiting in line for an hour just to get in, is that the days before and after were in the mid-90s and ultra-sunny and the one day we went it was maybe mid-80s and overcast.

Once we got in, we hit the bathrooms, met a couple friends, and went to grab lunch. Waiting in line for food was another hour. By the time we finished eating, it was around 1:30. We had a 2:30 photo op with John Barrowman so we went back, browsed the floor a bit and got in line for his autograph. Next to the line for the bathroom, this was the shortest line of the day, and also the hottest.

I say this every year but the event space is not equipped to handle the increasing amount of people that come. The aisles aren't wide enough and it gets way too hot. Thankfully, there was a large fan just before John's table. He had a good sized line so we didn't get to really chat much but he was  having fun with each person that came to meet him.

Other celeb guests included William Shatner, Jenna Coleman and Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), Elizabeth Henstridge (Agents of SHIELD), and a handful of people from DC television: Hawkgirl, White Canary (below), Caitlin Snow, and Det. James Gordon.

I wanted to get Karen's autograph because she played Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy but the line seemed very long and I had to make the choice of standing in another hot line or possibly seeing the con floor. However, when my friends made a bathroom break on the way to Barrowman's photo op, she and her handler passed by me. I said, "Hi, Karen!, she said "Hi!" back, so there was that.

We lined up around 2:15 for the scheduled 2:30 photo op. Eventually the line moved into a smaller room and at 3:15, John came out with a megaphone and entertained for a couple minutes before we were herded through the photo process. He also wanted people to make sure what pose they wanted because you they have to move a lot of people through. But he said he was open for just about anything, including groping anatomy of either sex! The only rule was no kissing because he got swine flu after last time.

By then, it was 3:45-4 and we had a free 90 minutes. We were in desperate need of a drink so we went out to the 7-ll next door and the line there took about 20 minutes. You've probably never seen a line that long in a 7-11! We got to walk the floor for a bit. I did some browsing and no buying. It's not that I don't like buying art, it's just that it ends up in a pile or a box somewhere within a couple weeks, forgotten. There were a lot of the same vendors from previous cons so I didn't take pics. That and I just didn't feel like it either due to the heat or people being in the way.

Peter Pan's Shadow
Then it was 5:30 and we got in line for John's panel. He came out in a Zap Brannigan outfit with white high heels.

Despite it being all ages, he didn't hold back too much and was hilarious. He talked for a bit up front and the rest of the time he took questions. Some of the topics included how he likes ot watch movies at home, acting, writing (books and comics), and Torchwood. He really wants to bring Torchwood back to TV. If you like the show, go out and buy the books, audio dramas, and comics so the BBC will take notice! Not a much better way to end the day than to see John Barrowman being John Barrowman.

And so ended my day of hurry up and wait at the con.

I would have had more fun if it hadn't been so hot inside, and probably taken a lot more photos. I kind of hate myself a little for not being able to power through it because there was a lot of great cosplay going on. So many Harley Quinns I lost count. And there were a good number of Reys, including a couple of male ones! I also saw quite a few Gravity Falls cosplayers which made me happy because I love that show and miss it.

There are a few more pics posted to Flickr.


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