Monday, August 05, 2013

Crawling From the Wreckage

I got back from Dallas on Sunday sometime in the afternoon.  It was HOT there.  I guess it's hot all over Texas this time of year.  Summer is not my favorite time of year due to the Texas heat.  The other seasons though are okay, depending on where you live. 

At any rate,  when I arrived in Dallas, I went directly to the Plano Friends of the Library Book Sale.  For whatever reason, I didn't find a lot there and it seemed sort of picked over, however, that said, I did find a couple of things.  Plus it was super chilly inside the venue with the air conditioning, so looking around in it was fun to do. 

I found a hardback copy of Jeff Smith's Bone called Rose for a couple of bucks.  It's actually a prequel, a story of Gran'ma Ben, from what the inside cover jacket says.  It's about a dragon that attacks a small town in the Northern Valley.  I believe she's aided by the red dragon on the cover, who assures her she can prevail.  The book is illustrated by renowned illustrator, Charles Vess.  Jeff Smith illustrates the regular series of  Bone, and he is very good in his own right, so having Charles Vess step-in as the guest artist is a bonus.

Also I found a paperback collection of Batman: Black and White.  That cover is by Alex Toth.  It's a collection of different writers and artist exploring the further adventures of the Batman mythos.  There's a Joe Kubert story in it called The Hunt that gets my attention, a Chuck Dixon story, illustrated by Jorge Zaffino, a story written and illustrated by Kent Williams, a Brian Bolland story and so forth.  It should be fun to read.

I also ran across this Best of Martin Denny: Exotica! CD.  It's music that is influenced from tropical landscapes and has this odd Polynesian vibe to it.  It was popularized in the 1950's, when that type thing seemed exotic and mysterious.  It came with a small booklet detailing the music and a bit of history.  It goes on to say that the roots of Exotica can be traced back a decade earlier, when , in 1948, James Michener's Tales of the South Pacific became a Rogers and Hammerstein's musical (and movie) smash South Pacific.  Polynesia, so recently the scene of bloodshed and terror from Guadalcanal to Midway, was now enshrined as Paradise.  I don't listen to this style music all the time, and it's a bit kitschy.  But it's fun to hear at times as it reminds me of the TV series, Mad Men, and something from that era, when say, a swinger might have put something on to impress the girlfriend at cocktail hour.  The little booklet should be fun to read too. 

I went and got a haircut after the library sale, and then dropped my luggage and stuff off at my brother's house.  I took a bunch of books by Half-Price Books in Frisco, and looked around for a bit, while they tallied up the stuff I brought in.  They had a small DVD sale going on, which was cool to look through  as they did their thing.  I ended up buying a few of the DVDs.   Most of the were in pretty good shape and hardly had a scratch or smear on them.

I found a copy of The Shadow, which I'd been wanting for a while.  It's taken from the pulp novels and starred Alec Baldwin.  Perhaps not a great movie, but it's fun and gets the feel of the era.

I picked up The Lives of Others about the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and how the East German police (Stasi) would monitor and wire tap phone conversations.  It's a political thriller, and won an Academy Award for best foreign language film in 2006.  I've had it on my Netflix queue for some time, so I went and ahead and picked that up.

I found a copy of an odd DVD I'd never heard of called, The Decade You Were Born: The 60's.  It's nearly four hours long, and just details the decade of the 60's.  It goes into some of the history of the 60's, politics, entertainment, and pop culture.  It talks about gasoline being just twenty-five cents a gallon back then, and the minimum hourly wage at $1.60.  Since I grew up through that decade it should be a blast of nostalgia. 

Glastonbury, is a 2 - disc musical DVD.  It's filled with musical performances from bands like Radiohead, Coldplay, Massive Attack, Paul McCartney, REM, David Bowie, The White Stripe, and others. 

Kung Fu Panda is the animated DreamWorks film starring Jack Black as the panda.  Fun film, if you've never seen it.

Liveforce is a Sci-fi film.  I remember watching it back on one of the cable networks back in the day, but I've forgotten the plot, so it should be fun to revisit. 

Dark City is another Sci-Fi film, which I saw in the cinema when it was released.  I've sort of wanted a copy of this film as I'd seen it on cable some time back and wanted my own copy of it.  It has a neat noir-type atmosphere.

At any rate, all those DVDs cost a buck each, well, except for the one on the 60's Decade.  The check out guy wanted $3. for it, and I wasn't in the mood for dickering the price.  All in all though a good deal. 


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