Happy Birthday to Me!

When it’s your b-day and you deserve the finer things in life.


THE INSTITUTE by Stephen King

IMG_20190912_221322_299So I reached (actually exceeded) goal for the first week of the BranTina Book Club (friends who read together stay together 😁). We agreed on a pace of 10 ppd/70 ppw and I reached pg 75 on day 7. By this point we’ve met two of the gifted children, one of them through tragic means. One’s a TP, the other a TK. We think we know who’s going to eventually bust them out of the institute. Early on Uncle Stevie had me worried with that damn birds-eye-view narrative approach that felt a little plot-less in the earlier pages but it’s compelling now and I’m all in. King nerd that she is, Tina’s calling for a Charlie McGee cameo in this one, all things considered 🤓
#BookwormRuckus #BranTinaBookClub

Wknd Rprt: July 2019 – Wk 2

NOTE: This report should’ve already been filed a couple days ago but it sat unpublished in the draft folder.

So after the live show we played on the 5th of July, I forced myself into a guitar sabbatical for at least a week. Looks like that will turn into at least two weeks because my brain has shifted back from musician mode to author mode (actually, our next show isn’t until Sept 6, so we’ve got some downtime for a bit yet before rehearsals resume). Thing is I’ve always oscillated between my two main arts like that since I added being a “serious writer” to my artistic passions in 1993 (five years after first picking up the guitar in 1988). So I am perusing my list of (unfinished, always these days) writing projects and reconnecting with them to see which one or two is screaming the loudest at me for abject neglect. Fast-forward a few days since beginning that perusal and I have totally identified which projects are screaming loudest. More on what I like to call The Writer’s Plight later.

And now a brief brief on the previous week that was . . .

– READ –

When I was at HALF-PRICE BOOKS the other day I overheard a guy say that he was in the middle of two books. My immediate thought was: Just two? I chuckled. I can’t say I always read multiple books at the same time . . . well, actually, comic books totally conditioned me for this approach to reading. As a youth I was reading comics some six years before truly getting into novels. Non-fiction books I devour quicker with more intense focus because that’s less about entertainment and more about edification and knowledge. I’ve always been obsessed with variety. Music, books, TV, movies . . . people. I’m terribly bored without a rainbow. I will confess that there are times I wish I could be more of a one-lane at a time kinda guy. Most often I’m not. And currently I’m in one of those modes where my book acquisitions are frequent and I just want to read ALL THE THINGS!!!

– Watched –


I was skeptical that it would be better than SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, as many have said. It’s just as good as but I always give the edge to the more emotive offering, which SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME is. Love what the final post-credit scene portends for the future. Oh, and Tom Holland is exceptional! Zendaya was sublime.

I watched this 7-video playlist courtesy of CapnOfCrunch on YouTube. I will finally see JAWBOX live and in person on July 27th at The Metro in Chicago. Can’t wait! These clips totally got me even more stoked!


I listen to a LOT of podcasts (maybe I should post a list of my subscriptions at some point?), many of which focus on comic books and/or their creators. But it’s always cool to get a more visual feature about comics and their creators. I happened to stumble across the debut of this particular one by one of my favorite comic artists.

Description from YouTube . . .

THE DRAWL WITH JASON LATOUR: Talking comics & creativity with writers & artists while trying to push my own.

ABOUT JASON: Jason Latour is a writer & artist. He co-created the EISNER WINNING Image Comics Series: SOUTHERN BASTARDS, Marvel’s SPIDER-GWEN and is a proud part of the OSCAR & GOLDEN GLOBE WINNING SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE. In 2015. He won the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award for Comic Book Art. Charlotte NC is where he learned to draw(l).


T’was a good week, all things considered. This week could be even better with some scheduled time off and plans with some friends as well as some quality solitary time as the fam leaves me and the pets behind for a few days getaway.

Be well and live your best life.


My Nightstand Tonight



by Lauren James


No chapter numbers but I’m on page 187, beginning the chapter titled “99 Days Until The Eternity Arrives.” Pretty much entering the final third of the book where things have gone very wonky on The Infinity, the ship that protagonist Romy Silvers has been on all her life en route to “Earth II” in a neighboring galaxy to our own. It’s basically a 40-year trip but past events aboard the old ship have left our girl Romy as the lone survivor and she’s been alone in desolate space for several years now and recently lost contact with her mission counselor at NASA back on Earth because apparently a third global war has occurred and the victors have taken over politically as well as operations at NASA. What’s more is another ship, The Eternity, which is younger, faster and more advanced, is on a course to rendezvous with Romy’s ship. She’s struck up a pen-pal like relationship with the lone young man aboard the ship and he being her first real contact with a prospect of the opposite sex has led to a crush with great anticipation! BUT all is not what it seems and the suspense (and the summary) suggests that once they finally meet things may take an unexpected and rather nefarious turn for hopeful young Romy. I hope I get to that part tonight or tomorrow night at the latest. This has been a great speculation/impulse buy for me so far.