From “Cowabunga!” to “Booyakasha!”: My Life in Ninja Turtle Memories

The unexpected emotional mix of finally sitting down to watch some of Nickelodeon’s 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series coupled with warm feelings of post-birthday nostalgia gave birth to this post.  You see, there are a lot of characters I’ve loved through my whole life but few I’ve experienced in as many different iterations as I have the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  So I’m taking a walk down Memory Lane, looking at every incarnation of the Turtles I’ve met and exploring what they meant to me.  To be clear, this is not an exhaustive list of every single version of the Turtles.  There’s plenty of entries, sure, but the Turtles are prolific characters with parts of their mythology I’ve missed/yet to experience.  Still, this is a fairly impressive list if I do say so myself :).  With that being said, onward to an exploration of my life with the heroes in a half shell…TURTLE POWER. Continue reading

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F.N.V. – Guilty Pleasures

Last week I kicked off my summer DJing Rob’s Friday Night Video series as he does his YouTube thing over at My Side Of The Laundry Room.  For my first outing, I looked at some summer/summer vacation songs.  It was my last day of school and my mind was on vacation (all I ever wanted…)!  This week I’m rocking out to some of my favorite guilty pleasure songs.  However, the name “guilty pleasure” implies I feel some guilt over liking these songs and, honestly, for the most part I don’t.  I should probably call these “Should Be Embarrassed By Them But I’m Not” songs.  But that’s a mouthful and everyone knows what a “guilty pleasure” song is so I’ll stick with it.  So let’s look at some of my awkward favorites shall we?? Continue reading

Waking Up To A Living Nightmare: A True Story

This story is not for the faint of heart.  But enough time has passed that I feel I can talk about it.  What follows is a true story, not embellished for either humor’s sake…or horror’s sake.  It is a tale of primal fear.  It is a tale of crushing fear.  It is a tale of waking before work to find yourself wrapped in your worst possible nightmare come to life.  But it’s also a story of survival (which, uh, is kinda obvious because I’m writing this).  Are you ready?  Then let’s go… Continue reading

My Grail – The One Comic I Covet

Last week Kalie and I were in Indianapolis presenting at the PCA/ACA Conference on Popular Culture.  It was so much fun!  Both of our papers were well received (mine (as I’ve mentioned once or twice) explored Jason Aaron’s use of the Divine Feminine in The Mighty Thor) and the whole week was an enriching, stimulating experience.  It was exciting to meet so many other people who teach through popular culture and there were papers on just about everything you could imagine.  To see all these different scholars in all these different areas, utilizing pop culture and speaking to its value in an academic setting was incredible.  While we were there, Indiana’s Comic Con was going on down the street.  And THAT got me thinking about the one comic I covet… Continue reading

A “Weird Al” Yankovic Fan For Life…and PROUD Of It!

My brother David is an incredibly talented musician.  He’s played the guitar for years.  He sings.  He writes his own songs.  And recently he decided to teach himself the drums.  Turns out he’s a great drummer too.  He plays a few set open mic gigs around town each week.  I’m always impressed to see not just him but all the local musical talent we have spend the night jamming together on originals and covers.  Recently one musician performed his rendition of the Kink’s “Lola.”  The crowd was digging it and the bar was singing along…only every word I sang came from “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Yoda” instead.  “Lola” is one of those songs that’s completely lost to me.  Al’s version is the only one in my heart and mind.   And I wouldn’t have it any other way! Continue reading

Spider-Man: Worldwide – I’m Finally, Fully HOME

This is an important post for this site.  Well, it’s an important post for me I guess, that’s a better way to put it.  It doesn’t have a strong, driving social justice message.  It isn’t a call to action.  It isn’t a heavy analysis or anything like that.  But for the first time in almost twenty years, I’m finally reading The Amazing Spider-Man again every month.   For someone who’s always loved Spider-Man as much as I do, this is important.  It turns out, being back in the current life of Peter Parker means even more to me than I thought it would. Continue reading

Who Is My Spider-Man?

My original plan was to re-watch all three of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man movies, both of Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man movies and then re-watch Captain America: Civil War in preparation for Spider-Man: Homecoming.  Then I was going to write this post about which film version I liked best.  It was going to be a sort of who-really-embodied-my-Spidey-the-best kind of a thing.  But a realization hit me.  While I’ve loved each and every Spider-Man I’ve seen swing across the screen in their own way (yes, I even see a bright and enjoyable silver lining to Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2), not one of them have felt like my Spidey.  However, this has nothing to do with writers, directors, or actors.  Rather, it has everything to do with when I grew up.  Continue reading