There And Back Again: One Playlist To Rule Them All

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Adventure Update: 75% excited beyond all reason and reckoning, 25% anxiety-fueled panic attacks while hiding under desks.

How in the Valar’s name did Bilbo manage it?

That being said, hello all! The final week count-down is on and things are rolling along so quickly that I can barely keep up with it all. What can you do? Time and tide wait for no man or hobbit as they say. Do you know what else they say? Nobody parties as hardy as a hobbit! I think we should test out that theory and see for ourselves whether or not it is actually true.

What do you say? Are you ready for this? Are you ready to go adventuring?!?!

I hope so because I am afraid I’ll totally shake apart right when the plane gets ready to take off. Deep breathing, that’s the key. Just breathe.

Packing is now well underway even though I am still getting the hang of it. It is rather difficult trying to figure out how to position hiking boots in such a way that they don’t intrude on the stash of books at the bottom of the case. Never mind all of the electronic gadgets that need special care and handling. This is why it is important to never travel with anything that is super breakable unless you absolutely have to. If you parkour down a mountain or jump off a cliff and onto an eagle’s back there is a fairly good chance things could and will get broken. Or worse. Always insure your stuff!!!

Bilbo1Anyways, onward to happier things. One thing that I have finally mastered is the art of the Epic Playlist Of Awesome.

Let’s be honest here. Being stuck in transit for hours and days on end is not fun. But with the properly tailored musical accompaniment it can be rather enjoyable to down-right hilarious. So you can probably guess I have uploaded the entire Howard Shore Middle Earth soundtrack collection. I also went with a vast selection of fun Irish tunes, reels, jigs, and airs along with a number of other soundtracks on top of my ever present heavy metal collection that follows me like a second shadow. All in all there’s over 14 hours of music. Now that’s something to get excited over!

Something to keep in mind when going off on adventures is to make sure you have two sets of headphones.  A set of ear-buds for those walking soundtrack montages in public as well as padded noise-cancelling headphones for the plane. Never listen to your music on a high setting or for longer than an hour straight without giving your ears a break, especially when using the ear-buds. If you notice ringing in your ears turn the music off and put everything away. Better to give your hearing a rest and if white noise is a distraction invest in some earplugs that you always keep in a hidden pocket in your backpack. Those things work wonders when trying to fall asleep beside strangers.

I’m still getting my Hobbit know-how up to snuff with these fine ventures. Think you can keep up with me?

Watching: The Lord Of The Rings: The Return of The King

Reading: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Chronicles, Art & Design

Listening: Music from The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings

Now if there is one thing that I have learned from my many experiences with all things Middle Earth it is this. There is honestly nothing quite like a good hobbit sip and song down at the Green Dragon Inn. Be comforted in the fact that when I finally enter the Green Dragon for a pint (yes it does exist and I will be documenting the heck out of it for you) I will break out into song. Not just any song mind you. This song in particular. The Cat and the Moon from the Lord of the Rings Broadway musical. I dare you not to start dancing. It’s nigh impossible!


Teen book Talk- Recommended Books from April 25

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Hello Everyone!

Your picks from our April 25th meet are found below!  If any of your picks are not on or not accurate, please let me know and I will add or change it!

On Monday May 30th, we are meeting and will be talking about our very long and HUGE book, Cloning Miranda.  I hope you will all have finished it by that time. 😉 See you then!

Anthony-  The Unnoticeables; by Robert Brockway ( Note: VPL does not have this title in our collection )

Elizabeth-  Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi

JenniferCarry On by Rainbow Rowell

Juliana- Speechless by Hannah Harrington

KaitlynI’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

KatiaSpecials  by Scott Westerfield

Maya- Carrie by Stephen King

TaliaThe First Stone by Don Aker

Theepa- Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Until Next Time…


Week of Geek: Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and the art of Building a Universe

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Hello again Geeklings <3

So lately, I’ve been reading up on some of the new Star Wars comics, the ones that have recently been released by Marvel, seeing as how Disney owns both franchises now.

And guess what?  They’re REALLY GOOD!

I started off with Mark Waid’s Princess Leia, which features our favorite space heroine immediately after the awards ceremony at the end of A New Hope.  Leia and Rebel pilot Evaan Verlaine, another Alderaanian survivor, go on their own mission to find other survivors of their destroyed home planet while the Empire is hot on their heals.  Following that, I just finished reading Volume 1 of author Jason Aaron’s run on Star Wars called “Skywalker Strikes“.  This is also set just after the events of A New Hope and the Battle of Yavin, where the Rebels are doing their best to strike at the Empire after the destruction of the Death Star and Luke returns to Tatooine to find more clues as to his destiny as a Jedi.  Not to give too much away, but I will say this; at one point Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett throw down.  I darn near died.

Currently I’m reading Shattered Empire, which is set just after The Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi.  This story follows Leia, Han and other rebels as they pick off the last of the Empire and deal with the fallout.  The story also focuses on Rebels Shara Bey and her husband Kes.  I’m not going to mention Kes’ last name, because it turns out he and Shara have a connection to a character we met in The Force Awakens.  I’ll let you find out who and what 😉

So I’m currently on the waiting list for Volume 1 of a tale focused on Darth Vader.  We also have Kanan: The Last Padawan, which is a series about a Star Wars: Rebels character before the Empire took over the galaxy.

Now, I know I’m talking about these places and people and events as if they were real, but it’s what geeks do.  It’s the only way we know how to talk about the things we love.  We know they’re not ‘real’ but, in some ways, they’re real to us, so that’s how we talk about them.

And these graphic novels really bring to light something I’ve come to realize over the last few years; Disney is REALLY GOOD at building and expanding a ‘universe’.

How do I mean?  Well, Disney officially bought the rights to Marvel in 2009.  Since then, and even before then after the release of Iron Man in 2008, they’ve created the MCU, or Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Yup, a whole universe.  And WHAT a universe!  As of right now there are 12 movies, with a 13th out in just over a week and 9 more officially coming (including this fall’s Doctor Strange and I am SO EXCITED!).  And they have 4 TV shows and 5 more shows confirmed on the way (UPDATE: make that 6).  And 5 short films and 22 comic series’.  And ALL of them intertwine with each other.  ALL OF THEM!  It was one heck of an experiment, something that had never been done before, at least to this degree, but I think we can all agree it’s worked out pretty well for them.

Disney bought the rights to Star Wars in 2012, and by that point Disney had had a few years to get this whole ‘universe building’ thing right.  I know, it sounds lofty when I say ‘universe building’, but really, what else would you call it?  Disney had literally decades of material to work with, so what they did back in April of 2014 was veto it.

All of the books and comics and whatnot that had been released since Return of the Jedi came out in 1983 were re-catalogued as the Star Wars Expanded Universe or Star Wars Legends.  While some fans were not happy (not an uncommon occurrence amongst fans and change), the choice made sense to me, because this meant that Disney would not be bound by the ‘history’ that had been arbitrarily written by various authors over 3 decades.  It gave Disney the chance to start from scratch, so to speak, and create their own Star Wars Canon, a whole new assortment of official tie-ins and stories to lead up to last December’s brand new movie The Force Awakens, and then take it beyond that.  I took the liberty of tagging our official canon items in our catalogue.  Check them out!

My point is that when you’re a company as big as Disney, and you own franchises as big as Marvel or Star Wars, you have the chance to create something on a massive scale.  Disney did it with Marvel, creating an interlocking story over several different formats, and they’re doing it again with Star Wars.  And I for one am pretty happy about it, because I think Disney has proven with the MCU that not only do they care about consistency they care about quality.  Even their weakest movies are still watchable.  And if the Star Wars books and graphic novels I’ve read thus far and The Force Awakens are any indication, that attention to detail and quality is still in fine form for the galaxy far, far, away.

Plus, did you know Han Solo had a wife?  I didn’t.

Click on the links above to read and watch more, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek Breaking News: The Doctor has his new Companion!

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Just announced yesterday, the BBC has confirmed that actress Pearl Mackie will be joining Peter Capaldi’s Time Lord in new episodes of Doctor Who.

And I for one am super excited.  Frankly, I got so annoyed with the last companion Clara that I actually didn’t watch much of the last season.  It’s a difficult thing when you don’t like the companion.  The Doctor himself is hard not to love but when he’s not partnered up with someone interesting or strong or capable then the show really does suffer.  Clara started off pretty cool, and she even had some heroic moments, but she did not take the Doctor’s regeneration well, her whole romance with Mr. Pink was a disaster and she turned into this harsh, dour, uninteresting person with a bad case of the ‘Me Me Me’s.  Am I wrong?  Any Clara fans  out there wanna jump to her defense?

My favorite companion is still Donna Noble.

Brash, hilarious, tough, fantastic Donna.

A close 2nd is Amy Pond.

Interesting, funny, strong and dedicated, she loved the Doctor and her husband Rory with all of her heart.  Let’s hear it for the redheads.

The Doctor’s Companion, though often looked at as a 2nd bannana or classic damsel in distress, is not a position to scoff at.  The Doctor only travels with the very best, the people who can handle everything the big, wide whole of time and space has to offer, good, bad and indifferent (so really, is it any wonder the Doctor mostly travels with women?)  The Companion acts as the stand-in for us at home watching, a logical choice as someone the Doctor can explain things to.  And though the Companion gets put in danger time and time again (and doesn’t always make it out) the trade-off is they get to see so many wondrous things, have so many adventures, meet so many people, human and no, and get to be a friend, partner, grounding element and confidant to one of the most amazing beings in the whole universe.  It’s a pretty sweet gig.

So what will this new companion bring?  So far all we really know about her is her name is Bill (I already love that).  The actress who plays her mentioned that there’s a bit of geekiness to her, so I’m all ‘Yay!’.  Unfortunately, we have to wait until Christmas for a new episode, before they begin again in 2017.  Stupid BBC and their stupid waiting games!

In the meantime, they did give us a clip to tide us over (*whew!*).  Let’s watch…

What do we think?  Post away, catch up on some viewing/reading, and until next time, End of Line.

Random Fandom Presents: Have Fun Storming The Castle Boys!

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It’s been thirty years since Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya) and Cary Elwes (Westley) crossed swords in that epic swashbuckling comedy fantasy The Princess Bride.  Time sure flies doesn’t it? Yesterday the Internet was all a-twitter over a picture that Elwes had posted of himself and Mandy while on set together filming a dramedy (comedy-drama) called The Queen of Spain.

Not much is known as to just what sort of involvement the two actors have in the project but whatever it may be fans of the Florin fantasy are excited none the less. I’ll be keeping an eye out for any further developments and will make sure to report my findings. Why do I get the feeling that off-camera these two spend their time duking it out with baguettes to see who has the better sword handling skills these days?

Princess Bride